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Boom, bust or a bit of both: US, global economies are a confounding mix

Dana Peterson, the chief economist at the Conference Board, sees a clear conclusion in the sharp decline of the U.S. business group’s Leading Economic Index: If recession isn’t already taking hold in the United States, then it will soon.

Tell that to Matt Malone, the chief executive officer of Groundworks, and the response is anything but recessionary – with his residential foundation and water management company still booking strong sales, pressing to fill several hundred open jobs, and ..

Such is the mystery of the U.S. economy, and increasingly the global one as well, three years after the onset of a devastating pandemic, a year and a half into a still-developing inflation surge, and many months into predictions of recessions that continue to miss the mark.

Major central banks have jacked up interest rates at a pace many policymakers and economists thought would prove crushing, perhaps taming inflation but at a high cost. Inflation has slowed a bit, but not so fast or so ..

Businesses like Malone’s don’t seem to have gotten the memo. The U.S. unemployment rate, at 3.4%, is the lowest it has been since 1969. At this point, Fed officials are less concerned about recession than of trends like labor hoarding that may keep available workers scarce and prevent the modest rise in unemployment many of them feel is needed for inflation to fall.

Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said in a CNBC interview on Friday that she felt the economy would grow “well below ..

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