TULSA — The U.S. economy will slip into another recession late next year, but the downturn will be relatively mild and short-lived, a national forecaster said.
“The recession will start in the second half of 2013 and extend into 2014,” said Jeff Dietrich, senior analyst at the Institute for Trend Research.
“It will not technically be a double-dip recession, since we have returned to slow growth now,” he said.
While the slump won't match the 2008 decline, “it will be felt,” he said.
“You will not see the same kind of dramatic impact as we had in the last recession on banks, retail sales and the housing market,” the analyst said.
Dietrich will visit Tulsa on Wednesday to speak at the Tulsa Pipeline Expo. His firm, Boscawen, N.H.-based ITR, is the oldest private forecasting business in the nation.
The next recession, he said, will be caused by inflationary pressures, rising interest rates and increased health care costs. Higher taxes and more volatility in Europe also could contribute, he said.
In 2015, the economy will return to growth in a phase that will last for several years, he predicted, adding that the expansion during that period likely will be better than the country is experiencing now.
The economist noted that the oil and gas industry probably will continue to be healthy through the recession and into the growth years.
“Your economy in Tulsa should do well because of that,” Dietrich said.
Other industries that will enjoy above-average performance include capital goods, especially those that are exported; companies with a global presence, such as IBM and Caterpillar; and technology. Retail sales will do OK, and the housing industry will see steady improvement.
As for the last sector, housing, Dietrich said modest growth actually will be a good thing, compared with the unsupported boom in the middle of the last decade that culminated in a collapse across some parts of the country.
Gross domestic product, the total of all goods and services produced in the U.S., likely will finish the year with about 2.1 percent growth, Dietrich predicted. That may rise to 2.5 percent in 2013 — still not a barn-burner level — before slipping to 2.4 percent as the recession takes hold, he said.
While the United States has lost some manufacturing to lower-cost countries like China, there have been several offsetting developments, Dietrich said.
“We probably won't get a lot of that production — items like tennis shoes and furniture — back, but during the same time we've gained things like BMW and Toyota plants,” he said.
“The U.S. has the ability to create and innovate. We've come up with things like Facebook, Google and new Apple products. So, it's not always about manufacturing.”
While some domestic observers lament that the U.S. has lost its edge, Dietrich disagreed. It's a matter of perspective, the forecaster said.
“Europeans think we've done a great job coming out of the last recession,” he said.