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Goss: a weak start to 2023 could spell economic recession

Creighton University

The economics professor isn't optimistic the federal government can avoid the economy going into recession.

Economists say signs are pointing to a rising risk of a recession in 2023.

Dr. Ernie Goss is an economics professor at Creighton University. He conducts a monthly survey of supply managers across the Mid-America region which includes North Dakota. In his Business Conditions Index for December, he says North Dakota’s reading on the index fell to 45.8 in December, from 53.5 in November. A reading below 50 indicates a slowing economy.

Goss says while the overall inflation gauge is slowing down, the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes probably will not be able to prevent a recession. He says that while North Dakota’s agriculture and energy sectors remain strong, the state has many open jobs – and some workers who, for whatever reason, aren’t eager to fill them.

"In North Dakota, there's about 3,600 workers that should be in the workforce that aren't there. Some of that is because of federal spending; and in others, federal spending has supported them in leaving the workforce and you have retirees as well. For the region, we're talking about as many as 220,000 individuals who should be in the workforce, but just aren't there. That's one of the issues we're faced with right now, and I don't see the federal government remedying that any time soon."

Goss says he is predicting a slow and weakening start for the first half of 2023. He expects the Fed to raise interest rates by another quarter of a percent in February.