Stock markets falls as economy strains, recession risks rise

It’s normally peak season at Asurion Phone & Tech Repair, but Gean Rodriguez said foot traffic has slowed down in the last couple of weeks. The Chicago repair technician wonders if cooler weather is keeping customers at home, or if people are saving their money for the holidays.

Without the answers, he’s waiting for business to pick back up to more normal levels, all while the company contends with bungled supply chains and high costs for electronic parts.

“We barely have anything at the moment,” Rodriguez said. “We’re hopeful for more business. Some people might try to save their money for the holidays, presents, reunions, things like that.”

Mortgage rates hit 6.7 percent as housing market keeps cooling

The slowdown at Rodriguez’s shop may offer a snapshot of the nation’s economy as it heads into the final stretch of the year. Policymakers are rushing to cool off demand and get control of inflation, hiking interest rates at the most aggressive pace in decades. Fed officials have slashed their expectations for growth this year, and the risks of a recession, in the United States and around the globe, appear likelier by the week. A number of economists are bracing for a downturn in late 2022 or early 2023.

But fresh data in recent days suggests the economy isn’t sputtering quite yet, and that two of the economy’s main engines are still revving. The labor market remains incredibly tight, based on data released Thursday. On Friday, a new government report…

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