Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) became the latest international economic organization to cut its global growth forecast, announcing Thursday that it's dropping expected growth to 2.9% this year, the slowest since the financial crisis.

Why it matters: The designation follows similar moves from the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and a slew of central banks and ratings agencies that slashed their estimations for the world's economic growth this year as data continues to worsen.

  • "We're heading slowly towards lower growth and the biggest risk that we see to these projections ... is that we remain stuck, engulfed at a very low level of growth," OECD chief economist Laurence Boone said in an interview with Bloomberg. "That is largely due to the uncertainty that has been created by trade conflicts all over the world."

Yes, but: While the direction of economic growth has been clearly negative, none of the organizations are expecting a recession, this year or next.

  • In fact, from central banks to ratings agencies and intergovernmental orgs, top economists remain steadfast in their insistence that they do not expect a recession for the U.S. or global economy.

What they're saying: Even projections by mainstream economists on the low-end of the spectrum show the U.S. "comfortably" avoiding a recession and China continuing to see GDP growth around 6%.

  • "That's why we're not forecasting any kind of global recession," Tony Stringer, COO of Fitch's global sovereigns group, told Axios on the sidelines of the ratings agency's Global Sovereign Conference. "Obviously if either of those really fell off a cliff that's when you get a different paradigm."

Between the lines: The key, Stringer said, is consumption, and U.S. consumers have shown it in droves over the last few months. Retail sales, consumer confidence and jobs data metrics remained at high levels, even as manufacturing, investment and CEO confidence stumbled.

Some economists are even bullish on the state of things.

  • "There is no denying that elevated uncertainty is bad for investment, but our tracking of global fixed capital formation finds little sign of lasting damage, at least at this stage," Institute of International Finance economists Robin Brooks and Jonathan Fortun said in a recent note.
  • "If we combine this relatively benign global growth picture with material easing from key central banks, it paints a picture that arguably looks quite constructive for risk assets."

Be smart: Economists almost never see recessions coming. Ahead of the global financial crisis, economic leaders from the Fed, Treasury Department and major ratings agencies gave no warning of what was to come.

Go deeper

The apocalypse scenario

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democratic lawyers are preparing to challenge any effort by President Trump to swap electors chosen by voters with electors selected by Republican-controlled legislatures. One state of particular concern: Pennsylvania, where the GOP controls the state house.

Why it matters: Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, together with a widely circulated article in The Atlantic about how bad the worst-case scenarios could get, is drawing new attention to the brutal fights that could jeopardize a final outcome.

Federal judge rules Trump administration can't end census early

Census workers outside Lincoln Center in New York. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled late Thursday that the Trump administration could not end the 2020 census a month early.

Why it matters: The decision states that an early end — on Sept. 30, instead of Oct. 31 — would likely produce inaccuracies and thus impact political representation and government funding around the country.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
2 hours ago - Health

Where bringing students back to school is most risky

Data: Coders Against COVID; Note: Rhode Island and Puerto Rico did not meet minimum testing thresholds for analysis. Values may not add to 100% due to rounding; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Schools in Southern and Midwestern states are most at risk of coronavirus transmission, according to an analysis by Coders Against COVID that uses risk indicators developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The big picture: Thankfully, schools have not yet become coronavirus hotspots, the Washington Post reported this week, and rates of infection are lower than in the surrounding communities. But that doesn't mean schools are in the clear, especially heading into winter.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!