If you were to bet that the U.S. economy would dip into a recession within the next couple of years, your odds might be better than winning the Mega Millions jackpot — but you’d still likely lose that bet. 

David Berson, senior vice president and chief economist for Nationwide, laid out both favorable and unfavorable trends he sees in the coming year as the guest speaker for the Bankers Trust Economic Forecast Luncheon held Wednesday at the Hilton Des Moines Downtown. Prior to Nationwide, Berson held chief economist posts with the PMI Group, Fannie Mae and Wharton Econometrics. 

Berson said the best indicator of the next recession — an inverted yield curve in which long-term rates dip below short-term rates — does not appear likely to materialize anytime soon. Once it does, there’s typically a one- to two-year lag before a recession would begin. If the current expansion continues through next June to reach the 10-year mark, it will become the single longest period of economic growth in U.S. history, he said. 

Continue reading more of Berson’s prognostications, including his views on tax cuts. Read more