LAS VEGAS – A Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago senior economist yesterday discounted the likelihood of a recession in the U.S. economy, despite the expectations of many in the auto finance industry.
“What causes us to go into a recession is some sort of bad event… and it has to be a bad economic event that it rises to the level that it can take down overall activity in the United States,” William Strauss, the senior economist and economic advisor, said during the Auto Finance Summit here. “Right now, I’d say we haven’t seen such events.”
He cited such past events as the housing bubble burst in 2008, 9/11, and the start of the U.S. war in Iraq in 1991.
The U.S. economy has experienced a growth period, at an average pace of 2.3%, that has lasted 10 years.
“The outlook is for the growth to continue,” Strauss said.
Almost all the sectors of the economy that deal with goods, services and resources, known as the real-side economy, still have room to expand.
“There’s still slack in the economy and, therefore, there’s less of a risk of a downturn coming from within the United States,” he said.
Strauss has been with the Fed for 37 years.