The outlook for the U.S. economy is dimming and the prospect of rate cuts is rising, according to the latest economists survey from the U.S. Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA).
The industry trade group released the results of its latest biannual survey of the chief U.S. economists at global and U.S. investment firms (broker dealers, investment banks and asset managers), which finds that GDP growth estimates for 2019 have declined to a median forecast of 2.2%.
“U.S. trade policy and China’s deteriorating economic conditions were among the most important considerations in the forecast change, as they pose the greatest downside risks to the U.S. expansion,” said Ellen Zentner, managing director and chief U.S. economist for Morgan Stanley, and chair of SIFMA’s Economic Advisory Roundtable.
Additionally, the survey found that the median expectation for a recession over the next 12 months is 25%, rising to 42.5% over the next 24 months.
Amid the gloomier outlook, SIFMA reported that 65% of respondents believe that the next move from U.S. Federal Reserve Board will be a rate cut. Only 35% expect a rate increase.
It noted that, if a rate cut is the next move, 38% expect it to occur in the second half of this year.
“Inflation considerations ranked highest among factors in the Fed’s decision to both raise rates and cut rates. Labor market conditions and other economic activity measures were nearly as important,” SIFMA said.