The three great fears of American business. What does he expect in 2024?

Luc Williams

Last week, the American National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) together with The Conference Board conducted a survey, and based on the results, the greatest fears of entrepreneurs in the USA were determined. Bryan Mena writes about the conclusions of the research for CNN Business.

Recession: its specter still haunts

The first and basic fear of business, despite the above-mentioned favorable economic conditions, is the specter of recession. In the aforementioned survey, which involved 1,200 American managers, 37 percent of them admitted that they had made preparations for such an eventuality.

Analysts are divided on the issue of recession. Some of them think it is to be expected; there are also those who have recently changed their minds. The latter include economists from Wells Fargo, who wrote in their latest note: “The facts have forced us to change our minds. We currently believe that the U.S. economy will grow by 2025.”

Inflation: Far from business standards

The next greatest fear of US entrepreneurs after the recession is inflation. The latter has been declining for some time, but it is still far from the 2% target and even further from the standard Americans were accustomed to before the pandemic. Or rather, American entrepreneurs, because it seems that certain trends accelerated by the pandemic have made the labor market much more favorable to employees.

– Inflation has slowed down, but prices for entrepreneurs are still much higher than what they were used to before the pandemic. They must face labor shortages and strong wage pressures, commented Dana Peterson, chief economist at The Conference Board, in an interview.

Interest rates: will the company fall into a debt spiral?

It is true that the Fed is expected to reduce interest rates in 2024, but no matter how optimistic one assumes, they are unlikely to return to levels close to zero, such as during the pandemic. They can go below 3%, that’s all. This is still much less compared to the current range of 5.25-5.5%, the highest in 23 years.

This may turn out to be a big problem for those enterprises that took advantage of favorable conditions and took out loans in 2020. They will have to refinance them. Which in practice means something like the beginning of a debt spiral – a loan taken out to repay loans on less favorable terms.

– If we deal with a large number of companies that will have to refinance their debts, the risk of insolvency will increase significantly – said Peterson.

Subsequently, creditors will not be able to repay their debts, and banks will tighten the terms of granting loans. Of course, if the worst-case scenario comes true.


Luc's expertise lies in assisting students from a myriad of disciplines to refine and enhance their thesis work with clarity and impact. His methodical approach and the knack for simplifying complex information make him an invaluable ally for any thesis writer.