Fear of a recession in the American economy by 2020 is stark in the minds of many U.S financial officers. They believe the current bull-run in the economy is no guarantee to insulate it from an impending recession.

Revealed in the latest Duke University/ CFO Global Business Outlook survey, the results showed 48.1 percent of respondents expected negative growth to hit the U.S economy by the second quarter of 2020.

John Graham, director of the survey and a finance professor at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business commented: “The numbers may fluctuate slightly, but this is the third consecutive quarter that U.S. CFOs have predicted a 2020 recession.”

Graham pointed out how strongly the recession has been predicted in other parts of the world especially in this quarter.

Many economists have already expressed that the U.S. growth may weaken despite the 3 percent growth it had since 2018 and the 3.1 percent gain clocked in the first quarter of 2019.

The survey reveals that 69 percent of executives foresee a recession before the end of 2020. This is sync with the previous survey’s finding in which 67 percent of respondents anticipated a downturn in the U.S economy by the third quarter of 2020.

The survey reveals that a majority of the chief financial officers (CFOs) are concerned that the economy in a few quarters down the line will shrink and ease of doing business plummet.

The reasons could be so many, including high tariffs, strong competition, freight costs, and credit risks.

Inevitable recession after a longer expansion

Technically too a sustained growth-cycle normally culminates in a recession.

“We're overdue for one of those cleansing recessions,” Graham added.

That is also one reason why CFOs are feeling convinced that a 2020 recession is inevitable. Already many abetting factors are lurking as shadows such as “paralyzing economic and political uncertainty” including consequences of trade wars on businesses.

The data from the National Bureau of Economic Research or NBER indicates the U.S. economy has completed 10 years of sustained expansion after the Great Recession in the late 2000s.

By July this year, the current cycle of expansion in the U.S economy will turn out to be the longest phase of expansion.

The current expansion of the American economy equals the longevity of high growth experienced in March 1991 to March 2001 period.

That period also culminated in the technology bubble and involved the arrival of the Internet.

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump speaks to media prior to his departure from the White House on November 20, 2018, in Washington, DC to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, for the Thanksgiving holiday. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

US economic growth will stay robust

However, rebutting all concerns over the economy, director of the National Economic Council, Larry Kudlow reassures that the growth pace will continue unabated.

As the latest update to the U.S economy news, he said the growth of the economy will continue on a stronger pace even if there is no U.S.-China trade deal.

“The U.S. economy is very strong,” Kudlow told CNBC and expressed the optimism that “we’ll maintain a 3 percent growth pace this year.”

In Kudlow’s perspective, the U.S economy under Trump is powered by a slew of factors including lower tax rates, massive deregulation, the opening of the energy sector and trade reforms.

Kudlow also shrugged off exaggerated concerns over the weaker jobs data in May.

Noting that it is unfair to “put much stock in one month’s jobs number” he said there are lots of other evidence proclaiming a stronger economy.

Kudlow specifically pointed to the NFIB small business survey and a large number of hirings in April as testimonials to the growing U.S economy.