Signals of a Recession Before 2023

May 5, 2023

The global economy has been through a lot in the past couple of years, with the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc on industries and economies around the world. While the global economy has started to recover, there are still concerns about a potential recession before 2023. In this article, we’ll explore some of the signals that could indicate a potential recession and what they mean.


The Yield Curve Signaling Recession

One of the most significant indicators of an impending recession is the yield curve. The yield curve is the difference between the yield on short-term bonds and the yield on long-term bonds. When the yield curve inverts, it often signals that investors believe the economy is headed for a downturn and are seeking safe haven in long-term bonds. This can lead to decreased lending activity by banks and a reduction in investment spending, which can ultimately lead to an economic slowdown.


In March 2019, the yield curve inverted for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis, which raised concerns about a potential recession. However, the yield curve has since normalized, and the Federal Reserve has taken steps to keep interest rates low to support the economy. Despite this, it’s still important to keep an eye on the yield curve as a potential signal of a recession.


Lowered Consumer Confidence

Another important signal of a potential recession is a decrease in consumer confidence. If consumers begin to lose faith in the economy and start cutting back on spending, it can lead to a decrease in demand for goods and services. This can cause businesses to cut back on production and hiring, leading to higher unemployment rates and a potential economic slowdown. In the past, a decline in consumer confidence has often preceded a recession. For example, during the 2008 financial crisis, studies showed that consumer confidence plummeted as people lost their jobs and the housing market collapsed.


Consumer confidence can be influenced by a number of factors, including job security, income levels, and the overall state of the economy. If consumers feel uncertain about the future, they may be more hesitant to spend money, which can have a negative impact on businesses and the economy as a whole. It’s important for businesses and policymakers to pay attention to consumer sentiment and take steps to address any concerns or uncertainties.


Declining GDP Growth

A decline in GDP growth can also be an indication that a recession is on the horizon. If the GDP growth rate begins to slow down, it could be a sign that businesses and consumers are cutting back on spending. This can happen if there is a decrease in consumer and business spending, or if there is a decline in exports. A slowdown in GDP growth can lead to reduced hiring and investment by businesses, which can further exacerbate the economic slowdown.


There are a number of factors that can contribute to a slowdown in GDP growth, including rising interest rates, inflation, and global economic conditions. In some cases, the government may be able to take steps to stimulate growth, such as through tax cuts or infrastructure spending. However, these measures can be costly and may not always be effective.


Rising Unemployment Rates

Rising unemployment rates can also be a warning sign that a recession is coming. This can happen if businesses start to cut back on production and lay off workers in response to decreased demand for their products or services. The resulting high unemployment rates can particularly lead to reduced consumer spending, which can have a negative impact on businesses and the economy as a whole.


During a recession, it can be difficult for workers to find new jobs, which can lead to long-term unemployment and a range of other social and economic problems. The government may take steps to support workers who have lost their jobs, such as through unemployment benefits or job training programs. However, these programs can be expensive and may not be enough to address the full scope of the problem.


Housing Market Activity Declining

Finally, a decrease in housing market activity can also signal a potential recession. The housing market is often a good indicator of the overall health of the economy, and a slowdown in the housing market can have ripple effects throughout the economy. A decline in home sales, construction, and prices can lead to decreased consumer spending and reduced lending activity by banks. This also then creates another contributing factor to reduced hiring and a slowdown in consumer spending.

During the 2008 financial crisis, the housing market collapse played a major role in the recession that followed. As housing prices plummeted, homeowners were left with underwater mortgages, and banks were left with a wave of foreclosures. We then saw how this led to a decrease in consumer spending and a reduction in lending activity, which had a ripple effect throughout the economy.


Seeing Recession Indicators in 2023

In conclusion, while the global economy has shown signs of recovery, there are still concerns about a potential recession before 2023. There are a number of indicators that can signal a potential recession, including an inverted yield curve, a decline in consumer confidence, a slowdown in GDP growth, rising unemployment rates, and a decrease in housing market activity. 

While each of these indicators separately may not necessarily indicate an impending recession, when viewed together, they can paint a picture of a slowing economy. It’s important for businesses, policymakers, and consumers to pay attention to these signals and take steps to address any underlying issues before they escalate into a full-blown recession.