The head of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce expects energy inflation this year will hurt manufacturing and agriculture.

Kurt Bauer, president and CEO of WMC, says higher energy prices could “very well tip the U.S. into a recession” in 2023. His prediction was included in the Wisconsin Bankers Association’s latest Wisconsin Economic Report.

But he also says the ongoing workforce shortage could help stave off this possibility. Citing an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Bauer says a recession can’t occur without a “spike” in the unemployment rate. He notes that even with high inflation, supply chain disruptions and higher interest rates, the state’s unemployment rate is just 3.3 percent, slightly higher than Wisconsin’s record low rate of 2.8 percent.

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