If Washington can work out a debt ceiling compromise, the U.S. plastics industry seems to be in good shape, thanks to an improving housing market and lower inflation, according to Plastics News Economics Editor Bill Wood.
“I’m not forecasting a recession yet, [although] I haven’t ruled it out,” Wood said in the May 23 Numbers that Matter Live. “There’s still a path, still a viable path … to get through this without going into recession.”
Wood warned that if the debt ceiling talks fail, the economy will see unprecedented problems. But he added that neither party would benefit from a failure, but both could claim victory if they go down to the wire before reaching an agreement.
Wood noted that it has now been a year since the Fed first started raising interest rates to tame inflation. He said the strategy appears to be working, and that if the housing market — a leading indicator — starts to show signs of life, that could counteract a slowdown in employment in the second half of 2023.
“I’m not saying we’re out of the woods,” he said, but at the moment, it doesn’t look like we’ll see “radical changes in policy” to bring down inflation.
Numbers that Matter Live is offered exclusively to paid subscribers of Plastics News. Watch below.