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Will the U.S. Get Hit With a Recession in 2024?

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Will the U.S. Get Hit With a Recession in 2024?

Will the U.S. Get Hit With a Recession in 2024?

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For much of the last year, recession fears have been building against a sharp rise in interest rates and market uncertainty.

Only recently has there been a shift in sentiment. Given the resilience of the U.S. economy, a growing amount of investors are seeing an increasing likelihood of a soft landing—where the Federal Reserve raises interest rates to combat inflation without triggering a recession. However, many still remain cautious.

This graphic shows U.S. economic forecasts across Wall Street, Main Street, and C-Suite for 2024.

The Probability of a Recession in 2024

Here’s what key players are projecting for the economy:

ForecasterEstimated U.S. Recession Probability (Next 12 Months)
Federal Reserve Staff0%
Yield Curve*61%
Economists48%
Consumers69%
Goldman Sachs15%
Bank of America35-40%
CEOs**84%

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Wolters Kluwer, The Conference Board, Goldman Sachs Investment Research, Bank of America. Data based on surveys and projections conducted August-September. *Based on a New York Fed model estimating recession probabilities using 10-year minus 3-month Treasury yield spreads, based on data from 1959-2009. **Conference Board Q3 CEO survey probability of a recession over the next 12-18 months.

In July, the Federal Reserve staff announced that they were no longer forecasting a recession in 2024, marking a sharp departure from earlier projections.

While the Fed staff continue to share a brighter outlook, the yield curve spread between 10-year and 3-month Treasury rates suggests there is a 61% change of a recession in the 12 months ahead. Historically, the yield curve has been a reliable predictor of recessions, based on a New York Fed model which uses data from 1959-2009.

Meanwhile, a survey of economists by Wolters Kluwer shows that they’re split, with 48% calling for a recession over the next 12 months.

Across Main Street, consumers share a more cautious sentiment, with over 69% saying that a recession is likely in the next year, based on a Conference Board survey.

Yet corners of America’s C-suite have grown more positive. Goldman Sachs recently dropped its recession forecast to a 15% likelihood while Bank of America gives it a 35-40% odds. On the other hand, 84% of CEOs are preparing for a recession in the next 12-18 months, a drop from 92% seen in the second quarter of 2023.

Bull Case vs. Bear Case Signals

Among the key factors investors are closely watching center around the impact of higher interest rates on the economy.

For the bull case, higher rates appear as though they haven’t significantly impacted consumer spending yet, although spending has slowed on non-essential items. Retail sales continue to be solid, and earnings across Home Depot, Walmart, Lowe’s, and other major retailers show resilience. Where the main changes are occurring are with consumers purchasing more affordable options.

However, consumers are relying increasingly on borrowing for spending.

For the bear case scenario, household debt has hit record highs of $17 trillion in March, rising 19% year-over-year. Higher rates have led these borrowing costs to jump, likely affecting household budgets. Meanwhile, corporate defaults have accelerated in 2023, and are projected to keep rising.

Overall, there are mixed signals across the wider economy, and it’s unclear if the country will experience or avoid a recession in 2024. Quantifying the full effects of higher interest rates on consumers and businesses remains an open question.

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The Top Retailers in the World, by Store Count

Here are the top retailers in the world by physical store presence, illustrating the dominance of convenience and drug store chains.

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This circle graphic shows the retailers with the highest number of locations worldwide.

The Top Retailers in the World, by Store Count

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Which retail chains have the highest global store counts?

Owing to their rapid speed of service in providing the basics to customers, convenience chains stand as the clear leaders. Going further, their smaller footprint allows them to expand their store counts at a greater scale.

This graphic shows the top retailers in the world by store count, based on data from the National Retailers Federation.

Japanese Retailers Dominate the Pack

Below, we show the global retailers with the most physical storefronts in 2023:

RankingRetailerTotal Stores WorldwideIndustryHeadquarters
1Seven & I40,454Convenience Store🇯🇵 Japan
2FamilyMart24,251Convenience Store🇯🇵 Japan
3Lawson21,902Convenience Store🇯🇵 Japan
4CP All16,042Convenience Store🇹🇭 Thailand
5AS Watson16,014Drug Store🇭🇰 Hong Kong
6Schwarz Group14,112Discount Grocery🇩🇪 Germany
7Carrefour14,014Supermarkets🇫🇷 France
8Couche-Tard13,505Convenience Store🇨🇦 Canada
9Aldi13,475Discount Grocery🇩🇪 Germany
10Walgreens Boots Alliance12,961Drug Store🇺🇸 U.S.

Leading by a wide margin is Japan’s Seven & I Holdings, with 40,454 store locations worldwide.

The retail giant includes the 7-Eleven franchise along with Ito-Yokado, its supermarket chain. While the world’s largest convenience chain traces its origins to Dallas, Texas, the remainder of the U.S-based company (27%) was acquired in 2005 in a $1.2 billion deal that took the company fully private. Today, the company operates in 10 markets globally.

Next in line are Japan’s FamilyMart and Lawson, each boasting over 20,000 locations. For perspective, Walmart, America’s largest retail company by revenues, operates 10,569 locations globally.

In Europe, Germany’s discount grocery chain Schwarz takes the lead, due to its extensive network of stores. Operating across 30 countries and with over 500,000 employees, the no-frills chain stands as a powerhouse. France’s supermarket giant, Carrefour, follows closely behind.

Ranking in eighth is Canadian retailer, Couche-Tard, with stores largely concentrated in North America and Europe. Since 2004, the company has made over 60 acquisitions, including 2,200 gas stations from French oil company TotalEnergies in 2023. The company is known for its Circle K brand, which operates in 24 countries globally.

Closing off the list is Walgreens Boots Alliance, the only American retailer in the rankings. The company owns the ubiquitous UK-based Boots brand, which was founded in 1849 in Nottingham. Yet as profits margins face increasing strains, it is looking to sell the subsidiary and instead focus more heavily on its U.S. pharmacy and healthcare businesses. With a presence in 13 countries, the pharmacy chain operates 12,961 stores worldwide.

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