EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I (WPRI) — Is Rhode Island heading into a recession?

Leonard Lardaro, an economics professor at the University of Rhode Island, believes so.

Lardaro tells 12 News there is a 40-50% chance that Rhode Island could be in a recession halfway through 2023, with the rest of the country following suit by 2024.

“The Federal Reserve is going to start tightening,” Lardaro said. “From what they say they’re going to do, they could end up in a policy mistake if they get too aggressive and slow the economy down too much.”

Lardaro said economists worry that the Federal Reserve will boost interest rates too quickly, which in turn would cause borrowing costs to skyrocket all across the board.

“What they can do then is start taking that money back out of the economy,” he said. “That’s never as easy as it sounds.”

The Federal Reserve, according to Lardaro, dished out money during the pandemic to keep the economy afloat. That flow of money has partially led to the inflation the country is experiencing now, he added.

“Gasoline prices are going to stay up there for a while, we are going to pass $5 easily, probably heading toward $6,” Lardaro said. “Housing prices are going to stay high, they are going to start to come down but it’s not going to going back to where we were.”

When asked what everyone can do to prepare for a recession ahead of time, Lardaro suggested cutting back on spending and saving up.