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Allison Schrager

We Should Just Accept We’re Going to Have a Blah Economy

We’re in unprecedented times, and it’s just as likely we’ll slog along full of uncertainty as it is that inflation will lead to a deep recession.

Not much worse, not much better.

Not much worse, not much better.

Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

This economy can’t go on forever. GDP may still be growing, but it’s at an anemic rate. And other indicators are piling up that suggest a recession is imminent: The yield curve is inverting, hiring and house price growth is slowing and Philadelphia may win the World Series.

If you follow financial commentary, it sounds like we’re about to hit the inflection point — that moment when the economy turns and we enter a recession; the stock market crashes, inflation deflates, people lose jobs and housing prices tank. But if there has been one thing consistently true over the past two years, it is that what everyone consistently predicted has turned out to be wrong. That’s because we’re in uncharted territory. We have never before turned the economy off, then turned it back on again as we did in the pandemic.