Nearly two-thirds of economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics say the U.S. is still in the recession that began in February and eight in 10 see at least a 25% chance of a double-dip recession.
The economists are split on whether Congress has delivered an adequate fiscal response to the coronavirus recession, with 40% saying lawmakers have not done enough, 37% saying the response has been sufficient and 11% saying it has been excessive.
A majority of economists in the survey say that the next fiscal relief package should provide at least $1.5 trillion, and 30% say it should provide $2 trillion or more.
A solid majority (60%) believes Congress should extend both the federal boost to unemployment insurance and the Paycheck Protection Program of forgivable loans to small businesses. Nearly nine in 10 economists (88%) say they are at least “somewhat” concerned with federal public debt being on track to surpass 100% of GDP.
Asked about the best ways for the government to raise revenues, 55% pointed to a broad-based energy or carbon tax, while just over half supported broadening of the individual and/or corporate tax bases.
By a 62%-to-25% margin, the economists also say the Joe Biden would be better for the economy than President Trump.
The survey of 235 NABE members was conducted from July 30 to August 10.