The US economy is showing clear signs of slowing down, fueling concerns about a potential recession.
The Federal Reserve is raising interest rates in a bid to slow growth as it seeks to curb continued high inflation and consumer prices rising at their fastest pace in more than 40 years.
The job market remains healthy – data released Friday showed an increase of 372,000 jobs in June. But consumer spending, which drives the bulk of economic activity in the United States, is losing momentum.
Here are eight other indicators that point to problems ahead.
1. Retail: The latest report from the Commerce Department shows that retail sales fell by 0.3 percent in May and rose less in April than previously believed.
2. Consumer Confidence: In June, the University of Michigan survey of consumer confidence hit its lowest level in its 70-year history, with nearly half of respondents saying inflation is affecting their living standards.
3. The housing market: Demand for real estate has declined and construction of new homes is slowing down. These trends could continue as interest rates rise and real estate companies, including Compass and Redfin, have laid off workers in anticipation of a downturn in the housing market.
4. Start-up financing: Investment in start-ups has fallen to its lowest level since 2019, falling 23 percent in the past three months to $62.3 billion.
5. The Scholarship: The S&P 500 had its worst first half of a year since 1970, falling nearly 19 percent since January. Every sector of the index, except energy, has fallen since the start of the year.
6. Buyer: a commodity sA measure by analysts as a measure of sentiment about the global economy — due to its widespread use in buildings, automobiles and other products — copper has fallen more than 20 percent since January, reaching a 17-month low on July 1.
7. Oil: Crude oil prices have risen this year, partly due to supply constraints caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but lately they have begun to falter as investors worry about growth. The price of Brent oil, the global oil benchmark, plunged below $100 a barrel on Wednesday for the first time since late April.
8. The Bond Market: Long-term government bond yields have fallen below short-term yields, an unusual event that traders refer to as a yield curve inversion. It suggests that bond investors expect an economic slowdown.