The Fed’s waiting game: Is the US economy finally starting to crack?

What has kept the economy afloat and out of the grips of a recession so far is the labour market, which roared back from the depths of the pandemic and has shown surprising strength

Federal Reserve

Colby Smith in Jacksonville, Florida

In the 16 years that Mike Zaffaroni has helmed Liberty Landscape Supply in north-east Florida, no stretch proved quite as difficult as last year.

Soaring costs, supply chain bottlenecks and an acute worker shortage mounted a challenge for the lawn and garden centre, which Zaffaroni said was even worse than the early days of the Great Recession more than a decade ago and the mass shutdowns stemming from the global pandemic in 2020.

But despite these hardships…