Expert warns next economic downturn will ‘be worse than the Great Depression’

Despite the strong state of the U.S. economy, some experts are issuing warnings about an impending downturn, with one saying it will be “worse than the Great Depression.”

As Murray Gunn with Elliott Wave International, a financial forecasting firm, told the New York Post: “We think the major economies are on the cusp of this turning into the worst recession we have seen in 10 years.” 

And economic commentator Peter Schiff told the outlet: “We won’t be able to call it a recession, it’s going to be worse than the Great Depression. The US economy is in so much worse shape than it was a decade ago.” 

The central issue behind these concerns appears to be an incredibly high debt load carried by borrowers and uncertainty over their ability to pay it back. 

A recent CNN report has also sounded the alarm about the nation’s debt load but suggests that more trouble could arise from the $6.3 trillion in corporate debt more than consumer debt. 

RELATED: Economies of the biggest cities 

41 PHOTOS
The economies of the 40 biggest US cities, ranked
See Gallery
The economies of the 40 biggest US cities, ranked

40. Cleveland-Elyria, OH

Cleveland is home to 11 Fortune 1000 companies, including paint-maker Sherwin-Williams.

Cleveland had the highest February 2017 unemployment rate of 5.7% among the 40 biggest metro areas, and the city's job growth was the second-lowest, with non-farm payroll employment rising just 0.3% between February 2016 and February 2017.

39. Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC

While no Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered in Virginia Beach, the metro area is home to several of the country's largest military installations.

Virginia Beach had the slowest job growth among the 40 biggest metro areas, with non-farm payrolls increasing just 0.2% between February 2017 and February 2018. The metro area was one of just two among the 40 biggest with negative economic growth in 2016, with a GDP growth rate of -1.1%.

38. Providence-Warwick, RI-MA

Providence hosts the headquarters of three Fortune 1000 companies, including Citizens Financial Group, the parent company of Citizens Bank.

Providence's metro area February 2018 unemployment rate of 5.3% was tied for second-highest among the 40 biggest metro areas, and the region's 2016 GDP per capita of $49,610 was sixth-lowest.

37. Pittsburgh, PA

Nine Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered in Pittsburgh, famously including food giant Kraft-Heinz and US Steel.

Pittsburgh's February 2018 unemployment rate of 5.3% was tied with Providence's for second-highest among the 40 biggest metro areas in the country. The metro area's 2016 GDP growth rate of 0.1% was tied for third-lowest. 

36. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI

Chicago is home to 25 Fortune 1000 companies' headquarters, including Boeing and electric utility giant Exelon.

Chicago's February 2018 unemployment rate of 5.2% was tied for fourth-highest among the 40 biggest metro areas. The metro area's job growth rate of 0.7% between February 2017 and February 2018 was the fifth-lowest.

35. St. Louis, MO-IL

Thirteen Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered in St. Louis, including pharmacy giant Express Scripts and agricultural technology firm Monsanto.

St. Louis had the third-lowest job growth rate among the 40 largest metro areas, with non-farm payroll employment increasing only 0.4% between February 2017 and February 2018. The region's 2016 GDP growth rate of 0.8% was tied for seventh-lowest.

34. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX

The energy industry is a big part of Houston's economy, with firms like Phillips 66 and Halliburton headquartered in the city.

Houston was one of just two of the 40 largest metro areas to experience a decrease in economic activity in 2016, with a GDP growth rate of -3.0%, but its Q3 2017 average weekly wage of $1,187 was the seventh-best.

33. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI

The automotive industry looms large in Detroit's economy, and the city is home to General Motors' headquarters.

Detroit's February 2018 unemployment rate of 4.6% was tied for eighth-highest among the 40 biggest metro areas, and its non-farm payroll job growth rate of 0.9% between February 2017 and February 2018 was tied for eighth-lowest.

32. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD

Five Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered in Philadelphia, including cable giant Comcast.

While Philadelphia's February 2018 unemployment rate of 4.9% was the sixth-lowest among the 40 biggest metro areas, its 2016 GDP per capita of $70,928 was the eighth-best.

Cincinnati is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and seat of Hamilton County
30. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI 

Milwaukee is home to the headquarters of nine Fortune 1000 companies, including insurer Northwestern Mutual and iconic motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson.

While Milwaukee's 2016 GDP growth rate of 0.1% was tied for third-lowest among the 40 largest metro areas, the region's February 2018 unemployment rate of 3.2% was sixth-best.

29. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL 

Four Fortune 1000 companies have their headquarters in Miami, including homebuilder Lennar.

Miami fell in the middle on our metrics, with its 4.1% February 2018 unemployment rate falling just above the average rate of 4.0% among the 40 largest metro areas, and a Q3 2017 weekly wage of $963 just below the average of $1,095.

28. Kansas City, MO-KS

Accounting giant H&R Block has its headquarters in Kansas City.

Kansas City's 2016 GDP per capita of $61,320 was just below the average of $65,391 among the 40 largest metro areas, and its job growth rate of 1.6% between February 2017 and February 2018 was just below the average rate of 1.8%.

27. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV

Las Vegas is naturally home to the headquarters of some of the largest gambling companies in the world, including Las Vegas Sands and MGM Resorts International.

While Las Vegas' 2016 GDP growth rate of 3.9% was the seventh-highest among the 40 largest metro areas, the region's Q3 2017 average weekly wage of $898 was the fifth-lowest.

26. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD 

Four Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered in Baltimore, including sportswear maker Under Armour.

Baltimore's Q3 2017 average weekly wage of $1,087 was right in line with the average among the 40 largest metro areas of $1,095, and the region's 2016 GDP growth rate of 2.4% was just above the average rate of 2.2%.

One of many docks found at Lake Elsinore in Riverside County, Southern California.
25. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA

While Riverside's Q3 2017 average weekly wage of $848 was the lowest among the 40 largest metro areas, its non-farm payroll job growth rate of 3.9% between February 2017 and February 2018 was the highest.

24. Columbus, OH

Columbus is home to 13 Fortune 1000 companies, including insurance giants Nationwide and Aflac.

Columbus' metro area February 2018 unemployment rate of 3.8% was just below the average rate of 4.0% among the 40 largest metro areas, and its 2016 GDP growth rate of 2.5% was just above the average rate of 2.2%.

23. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI

The Twin Cities are home to several major corporate headquarters. Target and General Mills are based in Minneapolis itself.

Minneapolis' February 2018 unemployment rate of 3.3% was the seventh-lowest among the 40 largest metro areas, but the non-farm payroll job growth rate of 0.8% was the sixth-slowest. 

22. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ

Eight Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered in Phoenix, including electronics distributor Avnet and grocery chain Sprouts Farmers Market.

Phoenix's non-farm payroll job growth rate of 3.0% between February 2017 and 2018 was the fifth-highest among the 40 largest metro areas, but its 2016 GDP per capita of $49,493 was the fifth-lowest.

21. San Diego-Carlsbad, CA

San Diego is home to six Fortune 1000 companies, including chipmaker Qualcomm.

San Diego's February 2018 unemployment rate of 3.5% was tied for 11th-lowest among the 40 largest metro areas, but its 2016 GDP growth rate of 0.3% was the sixth-worst.

20. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

Wall Street is the beating heart of the financial world, and so it's no surprise that megabanks like JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Goldman Sachs have their headquarters in New York City.

New York's Q3 2017 average weekly wage of $1,305 and 2016 GDP per capita of $81,748 were both the sixth-highest among the 40 largest metro areas, but the region's 4.6% unemployment rate in February 2018 was tied for eighth-worst.

19. San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX

San Antonio is home to five Fortune 1000 companies, including oil refiner Valero Energy and provider of insurance to military families USAA.

San Antonio's 2016 GDP per capita of $48,033 was the third-lowest among the 40 largest metro areas, and its Q3 2017 average weekly wage of $889 was the fourth-lowest. However, the region's February 2018 unemployment rate of 3.4% was the eighth-best.

18. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

The nation's second-largest city is home to seven Fortune 1000 companies, including commercial real-estate giant CBRE Group.

Los Angeles' Q3 2017 average weekly wage of $1,143 was the ninth-highest among the 40 largest metro areas, and its 2016 GDP per capita of $75,154 was seventh-highest.

17. Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN

Indianapolis is home to the headquarters of seven Fortune 1000 companies, including health insurance giant Anthem and pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lily.

Indianapolis February 2018 unemployment rate of 3.4% was the eighth-best among the 40 largest metro areas, but its Q3 2017 average weekly wage of $936 was the eighth-lowest.

16. Jacksonville, FL 

Four Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered in Jacksonville, including railroad operator CSX.

Jacksonville's non-farm payroll job growth rate of 2.7% between February 2017 and February 2018 was tied for seventh-best among the 40 largest metro areas, but its 2016 GDP per capita of $48,406 was the fourth-lowest.

15. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL

Two Fortune 1000 companies call Tampa home: health insurer WellCare Health Plans, and Outback Steakhouse operator Bloomin' Brands.

Although Tampa's 2016 GDP per capita of $46,972 was the second-lowest among the 40 largest metro areas, its GDP growth rate of 4.2% that year was the fifth-highest.

14. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA Thomson Reuters

Atlanta is home to the headquarters of 21 Fortune 1000 companies, famously including Coca Cola and Delta Air Lines. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the busiest in the world.

Atlanta's Q3 2017 average weekly wage of $1,067 was right in line with the average among the 40 largest metro areas of $1,095, and the region's 2016 GDP growth rate of 3.7% was the eighth-highest.

13. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA

Columbia Sportswear has its headquarters in Portland.

Portland's 2016 GDP growth rate of 3.0% was stronger than the average rate of 2.2% among the 40 largest metro areas, and the region's February 2018 unemployment rate of 4.0% was right in line with the average.

12. Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, CA

While no Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered in Sacramento, California's capital holds a lot of sway over economic policy in the largest state in the US.

Although Sacramento's 2016 GDP per capita of $53,249 was the ninth-lowest among the 40 largest metro areas, its GDP growth rate of 4.0% that year was the sixth-highest.

11. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL

Orlando is best-known for being a tourism hub, as the home of the sprawling Walt Disney World resort.

Orlando had the third-highest job growth rate among the 40 biggest metro areas, with non-farm payroll jobs increasing 3.5% between February 2017 and February 2018. However, the region's Q3 2017 average weekly wage of $859 was the second-lowest.

10. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC

Charlotte is a major hub of business in the South, with 10 Fortune 1000 companies headquartered in the city, including Bank of America and Duke Energy.

Charlotte's 2016 GDP growth rate of 3.4% was the ninth-highest among the 40 biggest metro areas, and its job growth rate of 2.7% between February 2017 and February 2018 was tied for seventh-highest.

9. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

The region around the capital is home to much of the Federal government, and related corporations like Fannie Mae.

Washington's Q3 2017 average weekly wage of $1,394 was the fourth-highest among the 40 largest metro areas, and the region's 2016 GDP per capita of $82,791 was the fifth-highest.

8. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH

The Boston area hosts some of the most prestigious universities in the world. Boston itself is home to several Fortune 1000 companies, including General Electric and Liberty Mutual.

Boston's 2016 GDP per capita of $87,945 was the third-highest among the 40 largest metro areas, and its Q3 2017 average weekly wage of $1,367 was the fifth-highest.

7. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

Seventeen Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered in Dallas, including Southwest Airlines and AT&T.

Dallas was tied for the seventh-highest job growth rate among the 40 largest metro areas, with non-farm payroll employment increasing 2.7% between February 2017 and February 2018. The region's 2016 GDP per capita of $70,533 was the ninth-highest.

6. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN

HCA, the largest hospital corporation in the country, has its headquarters in Nashville.

Nashville's February 2018 unemployment rate of 2.7% was the lowest among the 40 largest metro areas, and its 2016 GDP growth rate of 3.4% was the ninth-highest.

5. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO

Five Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered in Denver, including Chipotle Mexican Grill and Molson Coors Brewing.

Denver's Q3 2017 average weekly wage of $1,164 was the eighth-highest among the 40 largest metro areas, and its February 2018 unemployment rate of 3.1% was the fifth-lowest.

4. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

Amazon is headquartered in Seattle, but the online giant has a mixed relationship with the locals of its home city.

Seattle's 2016 GDP per capita of $86,889 was the fourth-highest among the 40 largest metro areas, and its Q3 2017 average weekly wage of $1,445 was the third-highest.

3. Austin-Round Rock, TX

Austin, home of the University of Texas' flagship campus, has always been known as a draw for creative and individualistic thinkers.

Austin had the second-highest rate of job growth among the 40 largest metro areas, with non-farm payroll employment increasing 3.7% between February 2017 and February 2018. The region's February 2018 unemployment rate of 3.0% was tied for third-lowest, and its 2016 GDP growth rate of 4.9% was the third-highest.

2. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA 

San Francisco is one of the two metro areas that make up the heart of Silicon Valley, and the city itself is home to 13 Fortune 1000 companies, including Wells Fargo, Gap, and Salesforce.

San Francisco's Q3 2017 average weekly wage of $1,654, its February 2018 unemployment rate of 2.9%, its 2016 GDP growth rate of 5.4%, and its 2016 GDP per capita of $100,132 were all the second-best among the 40 largest metro areas.

1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

San Jose is the other major Silicon Valley metro area, and like its peer San Francisco, big tech has provided much economic activity to the area. Tech giants like Cisco, Ebay, and PayPal are all headquartered in the city.

San Jose held the top position among the 40 largest metro areas in three of our five metrics: Its Q3 2017 average weekly wage of $2,297, 2016 GDP growth rate of 5.9%, and 2016 GDP per capita of $126,820 were all best among the nation's big cities. 

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

CNN also points to the escalating trade war with China as a potential contributing factor to a corporate downturn. 

As for timing, Schiff indicated to the Post that he is “forecasting a major economic downturn as early as the tail end of the Trump presidency’s first term.” 

However, the president has been out promoting the strength of the U.S. economy, telling a crowd in Missouri Friday: “The stock market is up 55%… Your 401(k)s are up 50, 60, 70% in some cases.”

Trump also tweeted Saturday morning: “New Economic Records being set on a daily basis – and it is not by accident!” 

Read Full Story

Markets

DJIA 24,342.23 -81.03 -0.33%
NASDAQ 7,008.24 -12.28 -0.17%
NIKKEI 225 21,148.02 -71.48 -0.34%
HANG SENG 25,771.67 19.29 0.07%
DAX 10,780.51 158.44 1.49%
USD (per EUR) 1.13 0.00 -0.33%
JPY (per USD) 113.42 0.24 0.21%
GBP (per USD) 1.25 0.00 -0.22%
USD (per CHF) 0.99 0.00 0.40%