WASHINGTON (AP) — A strong majority, 74%, of U.S. business economists appear sufficiently concerned about the risks of some of President Donald Trump’s economic policies that they expect a recession in the U.S. by the end of 2021.

The economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics, in a report released Monday, mostly didn’t share Trump’s optimistic outlook for the economy, though they generally saw recession coming later than they did in a survey taken in February. Thirty-four percent of the economists surveyed said they believe a slowing economy will tip into recession in 2021. That’s up from 25% in the February survey.

Another 38% of those polled predicted that recession will occur next year, down slightly from 42% in February. Only 2% of those polled expect a recession to begin this year.

In February, 77% of the economists expected a recession either this year, next year or in 2021.

A strong economy is key to the Republican president’s 2020 re-election prospects. Consumer confidence has dropped 6.4% since July.

Trump has dismissed concerns about a recession, offering an optimistic outlook for the economy after last week’s steep drop in the financial markets. He said Sunday, “I don’t think we’re having a recession. We’re doing tremendously well. Our consumers are rich. I gave a tremendous tax cut and they’re loaded up with money.”

While the economists in the NABE survey generally saw recession coming later than they had in February, the latest survey was taken between July 14 and Aug. 1 — before the financial markets last week signaled the possibility of a U.S. recession. Stock markets around the world shuddered as the White House announced 10% tariffs on an additional $300 billion of Chinese imports, the Chinese currency dipped below the seven-yuan-to-$1 level for the first time in 11 years and the Trump administration formally labeled China a currency manipulator.

The 226 economists responding work mainly for corporations and trade associations.

The economists have previously expressed concern that Trump’s tariffs and higher budget deficits could eventually dampen the economy.

 

President Donald J. Trump speaks at the "Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit" Hyatt Regency Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia on Wednesday, April 24, 2019. Photo by: Evan Vucci/The Associated Press

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