Are we headed toward a recession? Local economist and RV sales manager weigh in

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- It’s been about a decade since the United States has seen a recession, but that streak may end soon. Economists across the country are predicting a decline in the economy. However, President Donald Trump disagrees with those forecasts and the topic has become a national debate this week.

“Right off I-65, I love it,” said Tommy Mecklenburg, as he showed our news crew one of his most expensive RVs on the Happy Campers lot in Lafayette.

The number of RVs you see in that lot and others could indicate whether the country is close to a recession.

“It’s a good bellwether for, how middle class folks feel about the economy right now," said Kyle Anderson with the IU Kelley School of Business at IUPUI.

Mecklenburg said right now, sales are better than ever.

“We’re 475 percent over last year, so, it’s looking great," said Mecklenburg. "We’ve had to expand our staff and our facilities.”

Economists aren’t sure they’ll stay that way for long. Anderson said he sees a decline on the horizon.

“I would say we are probably 12-18 months away," said Anderson. "But it can happen sooner."

Anderson credits trade and tariff issues, a decline in the global economy and weak business investment. President Trump disagrees.

“Certain people and the media are trying to build up because they'd love to see a recession," said Trump. "We're very far from a recession."

Anderson said people don't need to be afraid.

“Just because we are having a recession doesn’t mean it has to be what we remember from 2008 and 2009 which was far more severe than a typical recession,” said Anderson.

Mecklenburg hopes not. He knows what typically happens to his industry when the economy is bad.

“A luxury item is the first thing that people cut out of their budget and an RV is a luxury item,” said Mecklenburg.

But he also knows to some people, memories made in RVs are priceless.

“So, whether the economy is down or not, that’s what life is about. Living it to the fullest and enjoying your family,” said Mecklenburg.

Anderson said in the meantime, saving a good chunk of money and making sure you have a secure job is a good idea during this time. He does not suggest quitting your job and looking for others right now.

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