DENVER (KDVR) — State business leaders don’t have a rosy outlook for the economy.

The overwhelming majority of Colorado business leaders expect a recession, according to the Leeds School of Business confidence index. The Colorado business leaders surveyed has been taken quarterly for the last 20 years. This is the fifth-lowest the results have ever been, matching the confidence levels of the Great Recession of 2008-09.

Fears center on inflation. The U.S. is currently at inflation levels unseen since the 1970s, according to the July release of the Consumer Price Index. The CPI is up 9.1% over last year for all consumer spending.

Nine in 10 Colorado business leaders say they expect a recession in the next two years, and most say sooner rather than later if it hasn’t already arrived.

Twenty-three percent said they believe the country is already in a recession. The business world is currently waiting for second-quarter reports that could confirm some of these fears.

Half said they expect a recession in the next year. Thirty percent said it will happen in the back half of this year, and another 27% said it will happen in the first half of next year.

Another 9% said a recession will happen in the second half of 2023 or later. Only 11% said they don’t know if a recession will hit.

Business leaders put the blame squarely on inflation and the resulting actions of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank. Only a small fraction of businesses say they haven’t felt any impact from inflation. One-third said that the impact has been significant or extreme.

Of the many reasons offered for their pessimism, 60% said inflation was by far the biggest concern. The second-biggest reason cited was rising interest rates.

Some say they’re still feeling COVID aftershocks or some kind of pressure from the war in Ukraine. Fourteen percent said supply chain issues were a reason for their low confidence. Nine percent said Ukraine.