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Buffett-owned agency warns of ‘Trump recession’

Moody’s Analytics has predicted a spike in inflation if former US President Donald Trump returns to the White House

US inflation could re-accelerate if former President Donald Trump wins the White House in the November election and Republicans secure control of Congress, according to a new report by Moody’s Analytics.

The June analysis by the New-York based rating agency assesses the macroeconomic consequences of the policies proposed by the US presidential candidates. 

Moody’s Analytics is among the largest holdings in billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s portfolio. His Berkshire Hathaway company owns 13.5% of Moody’s stock.  

According to the Moody’s report, Trump’s policies — including higher tariffs on all US imports, tax cuts that stimulate the economy and the stricter regulation of illegal immigration that could tighten the labor market — would drive an uptick in inflation from the current 3.3% to 3.6% by 2025.

The Republican presidential frontrunner’s plan would trigger a recession by mid-2025 and an economy that grows an average 1.3% annually during his term, while the economy would grow 2.1% annually under Joe Biden, the research suggested.

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A Biden victory would have no impact on the Moody’s economists’ baseline inflation forecast of 2.4% in 2025. If Biden wins the White House but there’s a divided Congress — a scenario which Moody’s gave a 40% probability — the economists projected inflation to continue to fall and return to the US Federal Reserve’s 2% target by summer 2025.

Moody’s analysis said the US would have 3.2 million fewer jobs and a 4.5% unemployment rate at the end of a Trump tenure.

Recent polling by the Pew Research Center suggests inflation is a key issue among US voters. Inflation has increased 19 percent since Biden took office in 2021, a major factor behind his consistently low approval ratings.

The Fed has hiked interest rates to a 23-year high in an effort to tame inflation, which has fallen from a peak of 9.1% in June to just over 3%. It is expected to begin cutting interest rates this year, provided inflation comes down.

In November 2023, Moody’s Investor Service (separate from Moody’s Analytics), downgraded its US ratings outlook from stable to negative, citing risk of high interest rates and rising debt.

The US national debt hit an all-time high of $33 trillion in September. The previous record of $32 trillion was set in June, when Washington avoided a technical default after passing a law that temporarily abolished the national debt ceiling.

June 22, 2024 at 02:38AM

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