Nobel laureate economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is the latest economist to say the U.S. is likely heading toward a recession and the Federal Reserve has run out of ammunition to stop it.
Most economists and many among the world’s business leaders agree that global economic growth is slowing, and Krugman said the same while speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai over the weekend.
“I think that there is a quite good chance that we will have a recession late this year (or) next year,” Krugman said.
Krugman, when not bashing the president in the pages of the New York Times, is a professor emeritus of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. He won the Nobel Prize in 2008 for his work on economic geography and international trade patterns.
Krugman said it was unlikely that just “one big thing” would prompt an economic downturn. Instead, a range of economic headwinds would increase the likelihood of a slowdown.
He highlighted President Donald Trump‘s tax cut stimulus as one area of concern, saying the program was “not very effective.” Krugman also warned it was “starting to look like the bubble may be deflating” when it comes to tech growth.
Citing a broad lack of preparedness among economic policymakers, Krugman said: “The main concern has always been that we don’t have an effective response if stuff slows down.”
“The place that looks really close to recession right now is the euro area,” he added.
Late last week, the European Commission sharply downgraded its forecast for euro zone economic growth in 2019 and 2020.
The Commission said euro zone growth will slow to 1.3 percent this year from 1.9 percent in 2018 and is expected to rebound in 2020 to 1.6 percent.
The estimates were markedly less optimistic than the EU executive’s previous forecasts, released in November, when Brussels expected the 19-country currency bloc to grow 1.9 percent this year and 1.7 percent in 2020.
The news exacerbated fears that a global economic downturn is spreading to Europe.
“By the way, my track record for this is bad — as is everybody’s. No one is good at calling these turning points,” Krugman said.