We are on the verge of another recession. So says Shadow Stats economist John Williams, who warns that by the end of July it will become apparent to all Americans. That’s when the government will release its latest GDP economic figures and according to Williams those numbers, combined with revisions for the first quarter of 2014, will show negative economic growth for a second quarter in a row, the official definition for recession.
In an interview with Greg Hunter’s USA Watchdog, Williams explains that it all boils down to one critical factor. Credit lending has tightened up since the crash of 2008 and without it U.S. consumers don’t have enough money to continue fueling the economy through consumption, the single most important element of economic growth.
We’re turning down anew. The first quarter should revise into negative territory… and I believe the second quarter will report negative as well.
That will all happen by July 30 when you have the annual revisions to the GDP. In reality the economy is much weaker than that. Economic growth is overstated with the GDP because they understate inflation, which is used in deflating the number…
What we’re seeing now is just… we’ve been barely stagnant and bottomed out… but we’re turning down again.
The reason for this is that the consumer is strapped… doesn’t have the liquidity to fuel the growth in consumption.
Income… the median household income, net of inflation, is as low as it was in 1967. The average guy is not staying ahead of inflation…
This has been a problem now for decades… You were able to buy consumption from the future by borrowing more money, expanding your debt. Greenspan saw the problem was income, so he encouraged debt expansion.
That all blew apart in 2007/2008… the income problems have continued, but now you don’t have the ability to borrow money the way you used to. Without that and the income problems remaining, there’s no way that consumption can grow faster than inflation if income isn’t.
As a result – personal consumption is more than two thirds of the economy – there’s no way you can have positive sustainable growth in the U.S. economy without the consumer being healthy.
It’s just not going to happen.
With nearly 50 million Americans on food stamps, a record of over 10 million receiving disability benefits, and millions more depending on unemployment insurance to pay their bills it was only a matter of time before reality caught up with the fuzzy math being used to justify a so-called recovery.
The bottom line is that we, as consumers, have no more money left to throw into the economy. We’re using most of it on food, rent, utilities, and now mandated health insurance taxes. And as Williams noted, incomes aren’t rising, so without additional credit being pumped directly into the hands of the consumer there is no possible way to keep spending money.