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.

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Updated 1 min ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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Trump's testing czar: COVID surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests

Assistant Secretary of Health Adm. Brett Giroir, who leads the federal government's coronavirus testing response, pushed back on Wednesday against President Trump's continued claims that rising coronavirus cases are a product of increased testing.

The big picture: Every available piece of data shows that the pandemic is getting worse again across the country. Hospitalizations are on the rise — and some hospitals are warning that they could soon be overwhelmed — while 13 states set new highs last week for coronavirus infections recorded in a single day.

Cook Political Report moves Texas to "toss up" in presidential race

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Cook Political Report moved Texas from "lean Republican" to "toss up" for the 2020 presidential race on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Texas, which has 38 electoral votes, hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1976. A win for Biden in the historically red state would likely be a knockout blow against Trump.