Business economists are predicting a slowdown in growth next year amid President Trump’s trade war with China, according to a quarterly survey released Monday.
The October outlook from the National Association for Business Economics found that economists are projecting gross domestic product (GDP) will expand less than 2 percent in 2020, the slowest rate since 2016.
The consensus forecast calls for GDP to slow to 2.3 percent in 2019 and then 1.8 percent the following year.
In the June survey, economists had predicted growth would slow to 2.1 percent next year.
No economists in the most recent survey predicted a recession for 2020, but they expect risks to increase by late next year, around the time of the presidential election.
“The panel turned decidedly more pessimistic about the outlook over the summer, with 80 percent of participants viewing risks to the outlook as tilted to the downside,” said Gregory Daco, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics and survey chairman.
That’s up from 60 percent who predicted that in the June survey.
“The rise in protectionism, pervasive trade policy uncertainty, and slower global growth are considered key downside risks to U.S. economic activity,” Daco added.
Trade policy was viewed as the biggest threat to the world’s largest economy, with 53 percent of panelists citing it as the key downside risk through 2020.
The survey was conducted Sept. 9-16 among 51 economists.
China and the U.S. have been locked in a trade war for more than a year. High-level talks between the countries are set to resume this month in Washington.
–Updated at 11:27 a.m.