Talk of a looming recession is rampant around the globe, and now a major U.S. bank has issued its own dire forecast for the global economy.
It’s been over a month since Russia invaded Ukraine, leading to an unforeseen and prolonged fallout for the global economy. Combined with an inflation problem that was already spiking the prices of virtually every commodity, global institutions have begun ringing the alarm bells that we are on the brink of a long-anticipated recession.
In an investment strategy report sent to clients on Thursday, Bank of America analysts warned that “inflation always precedes recessions” and that tighter monetary policies being put in place to control surging prices make a “recession shock” very likely.
Inflation has been the bane of the U.S. economy for months, and rates have hit new highs since the war began. The annual inflation rate jumped to 7.9% in February, the highest it’s been in four decades, and the latest forecasts suggest March’s rate could reach 8.5%, according to investment bank UBS. Such a rate would be the highest since 1981.
The Federal Reserve has been laser-focused on the problem for months, and the central bank began hiking interest rates weeks ago in an effort to temper demand and counter runaway inflation.
Higher interest rates have led to an inversion of the so-called yield curve, which means that short-term yields have suddenly become much more attractive than the traditionally higher long-term ones. A surge in short-term yields is an indicator that investors believe the immediate future of the market is better than the long-term view.
BofA analysts say this inversion is a sign that a recession is nigh.
“Yield curves always steepen as recessions begin,” the report read.
BofA has joined a chorus of financial institutions warning about the likelihood of an immediate recession.
Market-watchers have cautioned that an economic slowdown is the reasonable outcome to assume, given current low unemployment numbers in the U.S. and rising inflation rates. And a growing list of billionaires, global investors, and Wall Street personalities have expressed more and more certainty that the trends we are seeing point to one clear conclusion: A recession is close.
This story was originally featured on Fortune.com