Wall Street Says a Recession Is Coming. Consumers Say It's Already Here

The recession calls are getting louder on Wall Street, but for many of the households and businesses who make up the world economy the downturn is already here.

Take Gina Palmer, who runs She Salon on Atlanta’s busy Northside Drive west of downtown. She’d ordinarily expect her business to be alive with the din of customers on a Friday morning. But on that day late last month, it was largely empty and quiet, save for a few employees. With summer break moving into full swing, her clientele is preoccupied with affording summer camps for their kids amid soaring food and gasoline costs.

“When people look at their budgets, the first thing they cut is self care,” Palmer said. “I’ve seen my clients go from having weekly appointments to bi-weekly, and my bi-weekly clients are now coming in every six weeks.”

Abbie Marshall at the The Buck Inn. Photographer: Joanne Coates/Bloomberg

4,000 miles away, Abbie Marshall, the landlady of The Buck Inn in the countryside of northern England, is also trying to cope with surging costs. When she took over the pub last year, she ran the numbers on a 4% inflation rate—an assumption that would normally be seen as conservative given it’s twice the Bank of England target. But now it’s above 9% and rapidly heading for double digits.

Marshall has changed the costs on her menu four times and raised the price of a pint of beer on three occasions.