US Economy

US recession probability at highest levels since fall 2011: Survey

US growth fear spreads

The chances of a recession in the United States are at their highest levels since the fall of 2011, according to the CNBC Fed Survey.

The survey also showed recession fears rising for the sixth straight time among respondents, and are now sitting at 28.8 percent.

One fairly reliable recession indicator, the spread between the 2-year and 10-year bonds has weakened just about to its lowest level since the last recession. But it tends to signal recession at zero... So at 118 basis points, it's softer, but not soft enough to signal recession.

President Barack Obama (C) meets with Trans-Pacific Partnership leaders during the APEC CEO Summit at the Hale Koa Hotel in Honolulu November 12, 2011.
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The trouble is that, while there is weakness, it is not sufficient so far to bring the U.S. economy down.

Manufacturing looks to be contracting. Corporate profits are said to be in recession. And exports are weak. But the consumer is strong as is job growth and the service sector.

Several Wall Street economists have been thinking hard about this and mostly come to the conclusion that a recession in not in the offing.

RDQ Economics said "think there is too much pessimism about the U.S. economy and recession fears are overblown. However, we see little on the economic data calendar that will challenge this pessimism in the next few weeks."

Nomura also said that a recession in the U.S. is unlikely, "But two structural changes raise the probability of a recession: lower potential growth and a low equilibrium real rate of interest."