Benedict economist weighs in on inflation, possible recession

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Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 10:25 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 26, 2022 at 8:40 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Is the United States headed toward a recession?

That’s a question a local professor is answering. Dr. Raymond Lee with Benedict College in Columbia says the possibility of it happening is there. Food, gas, and prices for clothes seem to only be getting higher.

Experts are weighing in on whether the U.S. could see a recession soon. Dr. Lee is an Economy professor with Benedict College and says while key indicators are positive inflation remains a problem.

“GDP is strong, consumption is strong, investment is strong,” Lee said. “Even though the numbers are strong, people may think, well, a recession is coming and I need to stop spending and start saving and once people stop spending on a large enough scale, that’s when you run into problems.”

Dr. Lee says studies show consumers lack confidence in the economy right now. The Federal Reserve is working to tackle inflation. It raised its rate by .25 percent in March as inflation hit 8.5 percent last month.

Lee says we aren’t feeling the impacts of that just yet but says it could make it more difficult for consumers to get a loan.

Experts say some of the problems with the economy are cases of the bird flu hurting farmers in the U.S., the war in Ukraine, and places like Shanghai which has the largest port on the planet shutting down due to COVID 19.

Dr. Lee says it’s hard to predict if the economy is headed toward a recession but says for now there’s no need to worry.

“Hopefully, the FED can nudge it in such a way where we slow inflation, and not nudge it to the point where we begin to create a decrease in spending and unemployment and so that becomes a challenge for the fed to balance its policies and its maneuvers with pushing the economy in a direction that it wants but not to overdo it,” Lee said.

The Federal Reserve plans to meet in early May to discuss the possibility of increasing its interest rate again to bring down inflation in hopes of avoiding a recession.

Dr. Lee gave us some amazing financial tips for people looking to get more bang for their buck. You can find those tips below:

  • Track your spending and buying behavior.
  • Monitor what you buy and how much you spend on it.
  • Develop a budget
  • Watch how you allocate your money throughout the month, week and day.
  • Make sure that your budget is a daily allotment.
  • Avoid random spending
  • Avoid using your credit card to pay off monthly bills
  • Buy your gas on Monday, buying gas on Mondays is the cheapest day of the week to buy gas. Friday is the worst day to buy gas.
  • Think about setting up a direct deposit for your savings so money can be taken directly out of your check
  • Learn about different tips and advice columns that can help you save money

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