A Global Recession in 2023: Are We There Yet?

Pay heed to rising bankruptcies but examine other economic indicators too.

As we approach summer, there has been a fair share of speculation and concerns about an impending global recession. And concerns over a potential global recession have intensified as bankruptcies surge and many economic indicators raise eyebrows.

With total bankruptcies up 18% in the first quarter of 2023 – surpassing 100,000 total bankruptcy filings –it’s natural for investors to feel uneasy.

However, it is crucial to approach these concerns with a balanced perspective. While economic cycles are an inherent part of any economy, there are several reasons to believe that a global recession is not imminent.

Bankruptcies Way Up So Far in 2023

First and foremost, it’s important to acknowledge that bankruptcies and closures are indeed on the rise. Commercial bankruptcies are skyrocketing – up 18% in the first quarter of 2023. Worse, the number of commercial chapter 11 filings registered a whopping 77% increase from this time last year.

These figures paint a concerning picture, but they alone do not definitively signal an impending recession.

To gain a more accurate assessment, we must consider the overall strength of the global economy. It is crucial to examine a range of economic indicators, such as GDP growth, employment rates, consumer spending, and inflation, to evaluate the overall health of the global economy. These factors provide a more comprehensive perspective on the current economic situation.

Let’s examine the current and prevalent fears and shed light on the factors that support a more positive economic outlook.

Steady GDP Growth

One of the fundamental indicators of economic health is Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth. Currently, many countries are experiencing stable GDP growth rates, demonstrating a resilient economy. Government policies, investments, and consumer spending contribute to this growth, helping to sustain positive economic momentum. As long as GDP growth remains steady, the likelihood of a recession in the near term diminishes.

Strong Labor Market

A robust labor market is an essential driver of economic stability. Low unemployment rates and steady job creation indicate a healthy economy. Despite periodic fluctuations, many countries have witnessed consistently low unemployment rates in recent years. This translates into increased consumer spending power, further bolstering economic growth. A strong labor market acts as a buffer against recessionary pressures, reducing the likelihood of an imminent economic downturn.

Resilient Consumer Spending

Consumer spending is a key component of any economy, and its strength is often an indicator of future economic stability. Currently, consumer spending remains robust in many parts of the world, buoyed by factors such as wage and job growth. When consumers continue to spend confidently, businesses thrive, and economic expansion continues. This sustained spending resilience mitigates the risk of a recession.

Stable Financial Markets

Financial markets play a vital role in the overall health of an economy. Despite occasional volatility, markets have shown remarkable resilience in recent times. Central banks and regulatory bodies actively monitor and manage risks, ensuring stability and preventing excessive speculation. While market corrections are normal, systemic risks that typically trigger recessions are currently under control. This indicates a more secure economic environment.

Technological Innovation and Resilient Sectors

Technological advancements continue to reshape industries and drive innovation. The emergence of new technologies and industries opens up avenues for economic growth and job creation. Moreover, certain sectors, such as healthcare, renewable energy, and artificial intelligence, have demonstrated resilience and growth potential even during challenging times. This diversification and adaptability within the economy contribute to its stability and mitigate the risks of a broad-based recession.

Take a Balanced View

While concerns about an imminent recession may capture headlines and fuel speculation, it is important to take a comprehensive and balanced view of the current global economic landscape.

While we must remain cautious and monitor the evolving situation, it is premature to conclude that a global recession is imminent solely based on the current bankruptcy numbers. Investors should focus on the broader economic indicators, market trends, and government actions to make informed investment decisions.

By staying informed and maintaining a diversified portfolio, investors can navigate the evolving economic landscape and identify opportunities even during challenging times.


Important Disclosures

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period, though GDP is usually calculated on an annual basis. It includes all of private and public consumption, government outlays, investments and exports less imports that occur within a defined territory.

All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

This article was prepared by FMeX.

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Keri Pugh
Author: Keri Pugh
Keri Pugh is a Wealth Advisor with Fusion Financial Group, an independent financial planning firm and fiduciary based in Denver, CO. Keri has over 20 years of experience in the industry, as both a financial advisor and Principal. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Northern Colorado and is an alumna with national sorority Delta Zeta. Keri holds a variety professional licenses, carries the esteemed mark of Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), meeting rigorous education and experience requirements in key areas of financial planning, as well as the designation of Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®), a symbol of her dedication to upholding the fiduciary standard for clients. As a wife and mother to two young children, Keri is particularly drawn to working with thriving families and women. This is not only reflected within her practice but also in her regular sponsorship of the local PTA and volunteer work with the elementary school. Outside of the office, Keri enjoys traveling, skiing, and the Colorado great outdoors with her family. She often lines up movie marathons for the family and, in line with many clients, is a beginner golfer and a wine enthusiast. To learn more about Keri, connect with her on LinkedIn.