I've always found it quite remarkable that large groups of highly credentialed leading economists can disagree so vehemently on the state of the economy and the market outlook. The latest debate is whether we are in a recession. I will gently remind you that the economy and the market are two different things:
The economy is the production and consumption of goods and services, while the stock market is where investors buy and sell shares of publicly-held companies. While the economy is backward looking from actual events that occurred the previous month, quarter etc., the stock market is forward looking based on expectations for the future.
This is why the stock market can go up when many Americans are still experiencing challenges in their financial lives.
We formulaically calculate economic numbers like GDP (gross domestic product), inflation, consumer spending, home sales etc.; however, it's the analysis and interpretation of these numbers that seems to create diverging beliefs and predictions for the future of the market. For example, there is a faction of economists who believe we are in a definitional recession because we experienced two consecutive quarters of declining GDP. Others believe we are not in a recession due to the totality of the economic situation. One economist posited that it's hard to fathom a recession when people have jobs (record low unemployment). Regardless of whether we're in a recession, the same data is analyzed by different groups of economists to prognosticate the future of the market. That's why we hear so many opposing views based on the same economic data.
This leads me to my conclusion: no one knows the future. It's impossible. That's why it's the unknowable events of the future that move the market.
So please remember: recessions are a normal part of the economic cycle. We've experienced them before (six since 1980 not counting this questionable recession) and will experience them again.
But we will get through it together by staying focused on your long-term plan that is aligned with your unique situation and financial goals.