The coronavirus pandemic changed just about everything, including the economy.
Dr. Peter Rupert, a professor of Economics at UC Santa Barbara, said, “It's really hard for us today to compare things to history because we've never been through and come out of a pandemic, at least in 100 and some years or so.”
The Federal Reserve Bank raised interest rates again in June, and now people are asking questions about inflation as well as a recession.
Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House Press Secretary, said, "We are not in a recession right now."
Professor Rupert said the key is not to panic, “If you're asking me, are we looking toward we're going toward a recession? I would say no. Like I said, the unemployment rate is as low as it's ever been.”
Ryan Caldwell, the CEO of Wacker Wealth Partners, said raising rates is to help control inflation. “The reality is inflation is the strongest we've seen in a very long time. And between the war in Europe and all of the money that was thrown at the pandemic, there are some real challenges to getting that inflation tamped down.”
“Inflation's bad because, you know, what's happening is as prices start to rise, if wages aren't rising at the same rate as prices, then what that means is that people are getting poorer, that prices are going up, but their wages aren't going up as much,” Professor Rupert added.
Both Caldwell and Rupert told KSBY that it is very difficult to forecast a recession; however, saving is key.
“If you have a credit card balance, get it paid down. Step two, in terms of saving money — I'm a big fan of automation,” Caldwell advised. Some useful strategies include making sure bills are paid automatically every month and savings are diverted from a paycheck immediately.