Global Banking Crisis Signals Economic Volatility, Signs of Recession

IPC Issues March Economic Outlook Report

Economic data over the last month indicates that the global banking crisis will directly affect the ability of companies to buy new equipment, hire new employees, and expand.

“This is just the start of a wider banking crisis,” said Shawn DuBravac, IPC chief economist. “One that will get worse before it gets better. Banks will be cautious, raising lending standards, protecting capital, and creating greater liquidity buffers. Expect the coming months to remain volatile.”

The report also shows that the U.S. job market remained strong, and individuals appear to be reentering the labor market as the economy softens. In addition, the defense and space equipment segment rose 0.6% to another new all-time high. The sector is up 2.3% over the last year.

In Europe, economic growth was flat, while manufacturing production largely stabilized after eight months of contraction. Supply chains continue to improve which is easing strains on production schedules.

Additional data in the March report shows:

  • U.S. industrial production was unchanged in February but was down 0.4% including revisions to prior months and came in below consensus expectations of a 0.2% increase.
  • U.S. employment gains in the last year have been driven by firms with less than 250 employees. Tightening credit conditions are going to hit this part of the economy the hardest.
  • In the EU: Manufacturing output rose in January. Output increased 0.8% (month-on-month) and is up 1.7% over the last year. In addition, the electronics industry, which includes categories such as components, loaded boards, computers, communications equipment, and consumer electronics, rose 4.5% (month-on-month) in January. The sector is up 10.4% over the last year.
  • The U.S. job market remained strong in February, adding 311,000 new jobs even with a downward revision to payroll gains in December and January of 34,000 jobs.

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