Getty ImagesMore than half of Americans surveyed by MetLife think a recession will hit the US in the next year.To make matters more dire, few people feel they are prepared for one. The Great Recession of 2008 is still fresh in many Americans' minds, and they're worried about how a downturn will impact savings and jobs.Read more on Business Insider.
Americans are worried that a recession is looming, and few think they're prepared for one, according to a recent study by MetLife.
Of the 8,000 American adults MetLife surveyed in September, 51% said that they believe a recession will occur within a year. Of those, 47% gave themselves low marks on financial literacy, and 28% said they haven't changed any behaviors since the Great Recession in 2008.
There have been a number of signs that a recession could be on the horizon. For one, the US Treasury yield curve — a trusted indicator that's preceded every economic meltdown since 1950 — has been flashing red since May.
The threat of a trade war and further tariff escalation is also making consumers and businesses uneasy. That's a troubling development, considering consumption makes up roughly 70% of gross domestic product. And on a global scale, multiple major economies around the world are either in a recession, or on the brink of one.
The MetLife survey shows that Americans are especially concerned about what a recession would mean for jobs and savings. This is likely because savings and job security were most often impacted during the Great Recession, according to the study.
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That had a major impact on American's lives. 36% used most or all of their savings during the Great Recession, 33% had to change college plans for themselves or their children, 25% had to delay retirement, and 18% had to support a struggling family member after 2008.
Today, younger respondents worry more about what a recession would mean for their careers. Most said their top concern is that they would lose their job or have trouble finding one. Older respondents are more concerned that they'd have to take on a second job, or dip into their savings to make ends meet.
But despite this widespread trepidation, preparedness for a recession is scant. Only 32% said they had enough savings to cover more than six months without income. In addition, 43% said that they're living paycheck to paycheck, and 85% of those who do are women.
Women were also less likely to give themselves a high grade for financial literacy, and were less likely to report that they'd made changes following the 2008 recession, the study found.
This matches up with the findings of past studies, which have shown that the latest round of tariffs that President Trump has levied against China will have the greatest impact on women and low earners, as they spend the largest percentage of incomes on goods.
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