A new industry survey shows the majority of Wisconsin businesses worry the state is headed toward a recession, but economists are less certain.

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce released the results of a survey of 164 employers from various industries last week. The survey shows that 60 percent of businesses fear a looming recession, while inflation and the ongoing labor shortage are among employers’ top concerns.

The survey also shows that companies are less pessimistic about Wisconsin’s economy than the national economy. Thirty-nine percent of employers said Wisconsin’s economy is strong, 57 percent said it was moderate, with only 4 percent calling it weak. Meanwhile, 20 percent said the national economy was strong, 62 percent said it was moderate and 18 percent said it was weak.

Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. Secretary and chief executive Missy Hughes said those numbers illustrate that Wisconsin’s businesses are concerned about national trends and headlines regarding a recession, but still feel good about their organizations.

“It’s definitely a real kind of dichotomy of their opinion, in that when they’re talking about the world, they’re worried; when they’re talking about their own business, they’re very healthy,” she said. “It demonstrates a feeling that (if) we’re going into any kind of a recession, (or) whatever the next six months is, we’re going in from a strong foundation.”

[Adapted from: Most Wisconsin businesses think a recession is coming, but it’s still too soon to tell January 25, 2023 Wisconsin Public Radio]