If a recession comes this year, how will it affect the Rhode Island economy?

KARL WADENSTEN, second from left, CEO and president of VIBCO Inc., speaks during the panel discussion at Providence Business News' 2023 Economic Trends Summit in Providence on Jan. 26. Also on the panel from left, Thomas Tzitzouris, head of fixed income research at Strategas; Peter R. Phillips, senior vice president and chief investment officer at Washington Trust Wealth Management; Julietta Georgakis, chief of staff for the R.I. Executive Office of Commerce; and Kevin Casey, vice president of sales at Sweeney Real Estate & Appraisal. At far right is PBN Editor Michael Mello, the moderator. / PBN PHOTO FILE/MIKE SKORSKI

Thomas Tzitzouris, head of fixed income research at Strategas Research Partners, expects the Federal Reserve will raise its benchmark interest rate until it maxes out at 5.25% and that the state and nation will be in a recession by early this summer.

Tzitzouris, both a panelist and keynote speaker at Providence Business News’ Jan. 26 Economic Trends Summit, said business owners already struggling with the rise in costs for energy, borrowing and wages, will feel the pain of rising costs and the addition of declining consumer spending.

“If you are hoping this economy can slide into a soft landing, don’t expect it,” he said at the summit.

Other panelists at the summit agreed a recession is likely for the state and nation.

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The good news, Tzitzouris suggested, is Rhode Island may be better positioned to handle the next recession than in past years. And though business owners’ confidence mirrors how many felt during the Great Recession, he doesn’t see the state slipping into as deep a recession as occurred in 2008.

If a recession comes this year, how will it affect the Rhode Island economy?

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