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Kyla Scanlon popularized the notion of a “vibecession” last year. It’s a funny term that means serious business. The idea is that deteriorating perceptions of the economy (bad vibes) induces an actual contraction in economic activity. A recession is then, ultimately, a psychological phenomenon: People lose confidence that future economic growth will sustain their current job and income, companies expect sales to falter from current levels, people spend less and companies then pullback on investment. And there you have it: recession as a self-fulfilled prophecy.
Yet when we look back on 2022, the U.S. economy remarkably shrugged off this