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Economists at ratings agency S&P Global raised the probability of a U.S. recession in 2019 to 20–25% on Wednesday, in large part because of the flattening U.S. Treasury yield curve.

Flashback: Its previous assessment was 15–20%, 3 months ago.

"Although economic indicators continue to point to a sustained economic expansion, heightened investor concerns over global economic developments led to market volatility and disruptions late last year, leaving a mixed picture for the second oldest expansion in U.S. history."
— Beth Ann Bovino, U.S. chief economist at S&P Global

Between the lines: S&P Global releases a quarterly publication that examines 10 leading indicators of near-term economic growth. Two indicators turned negative this quarter for the first time since mid-2017, when the ratings agency's economics group first began to look at these metrics.

  • "Financial conditions have eased in recent weeks, stemming from a significantly more dovish communication by the Fed," Bovino said. "If the easing persists, the quantitative assessment will likely decline in the coming months."

As S&P raises its U.S. recession worries, a new survey shows European money managers are growing increasingly wary of a global recession.

The bottom line: Almost 30% of respondents to Bank of America Merrill Lynch's latest survey of European money managers said a worldwide economic contraction was their biggest concern, the strongest consensus for any single risk since June 2017.

Go deeper

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Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to Iranian-backed militia groups was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.

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FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: The authorization of a third coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. will help speed up the vaccine rollout across the country, especially since the J&J shot only requires one dose as opposed to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's two-shot vaccines.

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios