Economists Say To Buckle Up for Some Not-So-Great Times Ahead

Date: June 03, 2016 Last Edit: June 13, 2016

The state of the economy—and Obama’s performance—isn’t looking too hot in a new report.

It may be the economy, stupid—but are the candidates talking smartly about it? 

While the nation’s economic vitality—or lack thereof—has been a hot topic in the 2016 presidential campaign, the surrounding chatter might just be surface-level, according to a new Bankrate survey. 


Although the outlook for the state of the economy in the next year is relatively neutral, candidates in the 2016 election have yet to give satisfactory proposals on economic matters. When asked to give a letter grade on “the quality of the debate about economic issues during the current presidential campaign,” half of the two-dozen economists delivered F’s, Bankrate reported. 

“Candidates are throwing around utopic policies that are not implementable, nor do they address the current issues,” said Lindsey Piegza, chief economist at Stifel, according to Bankrate.

In addition to polling the economists’ opinions on the campaign’s economic coverage, the survey compiled national financial predictions for the upcoming year. Here are four main takeaways from the report: 

1. Unemployment is expected to decline.

The unemployment rate, which has most recently been 5 percent, is expected to fall to 4.7 percent in one year, according to the survey. “As for hiring, the median forecast for monthly payroll gains is put at nearly 182,000, suggesting more moderate improvement in the job market after 74 consecutive months of job creation, as reported by the U.S. Labor Department,” according to Bankrate. 

2. The chances of a recession are relatively high. 

About 63 percent of the economists surveyed believe that the odds of a recession are less than 25 percent. In addition, the overall risk of a recession in the next 12-18 months is 23 percent, Bankrate reported. 

3. Economic growth will be modest, if it comes at all.

Most of the economists surveyed expect annual gains of less than 3 percent. While the gross domestic product won’t be making huge expansions anytime soon, these numbers suggest sustainability, the report says. 

4. The current president isn’t receiving high marks, either.

President Obama’s stewardship of the economy was also short of getting straight A’s from economists, according to the report.

“No serious steps were taken to address the underlying economic issues, and the federal debt situation has gotten much worse,” said Robert Hughes, senior research fellow with the American Institute for Economic Research.

*Note: This news coverage does not equate to an endorsement of any candidate by NFIB.

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