While the early assessment of second quarter GDP growth relieved some of the concerns that came from the first quarter's rather anemic 1.2 percent growth, two important forward-looking measures are signaling not just a slowdown but a very strong possibility of recession in 2018.

The absolute level of monthly payroll gains has provided comforting evidence to the bulls that employment remains healthy, but it is the "relative" growth that gives us pause on the potential for consumer spending over the coming 12 months.

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