Seattle economist foresees a mild recession as “quite likely”

Sep 19, 2019
Written by wpengine

Though not guaranteed, a mild recession is likely to occur at the end of next year, according to Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate. He spoke at the Association of Washington Business annual 2019 Policy Summit this week in Cle Elum.

Gardner told attendees unemployment could start to rise next year and that the current U.S. trade war with China could spark a recession. “We are due” for a recession in nine to 18 months, he said. Attendees included WR Director of Business Development Terry Hopsecger and Director of Communications Jim Szymanski.

Gardner said a recession is not likely to last long and forecasts an economic contraction lasting two quarters. He noted that the German and Italian economies already are slowing down quickly.

Approximately 2,400 new retail jobs will be created statewide next year and the industry will be among the top three most in-demand careers for the foreseeable future, following nursing at the top and software developers.

Regardless of a possible economic slowdown, Gardner said the U.S. economy has experienced 106 consecutive months of job growth. Nationwide, he said, there are more job openings than there are unemployed people.

The conference included breakout sessions on several issues likely to be debated during the 2020 state Legislative Session including tax reform, proposed new rules for overtime eligibility, reductions in fossil fuel emissions and the importance of  international trade for the state economy.