Category Archives: Economic Forecasts

Chicago Fed National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI)

The St. Louis Fed’s Financial Stress Index (STLFSI) is one index that is supposed to measure stress in the financial system.  Its reading as of the July 19, 2018 update (reflecting data through July 13, 2018) is -1.181.

Of course, there are a variety of other measures and indices that are supposed to measure financial stress and other related issues, both from the Federal Reserve as well as from private sources.

Two other indices that I regularly monitor include the Chicago Fed National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) as well as the Chicago Fed Adjusted National Financial Conditions Index (ANFCI).

Here are summary descriptions of each, as seen in FRED:

The National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) measures risk, liquidity and leverage in money markets and debt and equity markets as well as in the traditional and “shadow” banking systems. Positive values of the NFCI indicate financial conditions that are tighter than average, while negative values indicate financial conditions that are looser than average.

The adjusted NFCI (ANFCI). This index isolates a component of financial conditions uncorrelated with economic conditions to provide an update on how financial conditions compare with current economic conditions.

For further information, please visit the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s web site:

http://www.chicagofed.org/webpages/publications/nfci/index.cfm

Below are the most recently updated charts of the NFCI and ANFCI, respectively.

The NFCI chart below was last updated on July 25, 2018 incorporating data from January 8, 1971 through July 20, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The July 20, 2018 value is -.83:

NFCI_7-25-18 -.83

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed July 25, 2018:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/NFCI

The ANFCI chart below was last updated on July 25, 2018 incorporating data from January 8,1971 through July 20, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The July 20 value is -.55:

ANFCI_7-25-18 -.52

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed July 25, 2018:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/ANFCI

_________

I post various indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2846.72 as this post is written

Updates Of Economic Indicators July 2018

Here is an update of various indicators that are supposed to predict and/or depict economic activity. These indicators have been discussed in previous blog posts:

The July 2018 Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) updated as of July 23, 2018:

The CFNAI, with current reading of .43:

CFNAI_7-23-18 .43

source:  Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago Fed National Activity Index [CFNAI], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, July 23, 2018;

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CFNAI

The CFNAI-MA3, with current reading of .16:

CFNAIMA3_7-23-18 .16

source:  Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago Fed National Activity Index: Three Month Moving Average [CFNAIMA3], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, July 23, 2018;

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CFNAIMA3

The ECRI WLI (Weekly Leading Index):

As of July 20, 2018 (incorporating data through July 13, 2018) the WLI was at 148.3 and the WLI, Gr. was at .9%.

The Aruoba-Diebold-Scotti Business Conditions (ADS) Index:

Here is the latest chart, depicting the ADS Index from December 31, 2007 through July 14, 2018:

ADS Index

The Conference Board Leading (LEI), Coincident (CEI) Economic Indexes, and Lagging Economic Indicator (LAG):

As per the July 19, 2018 press release, titled “The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. Increased in June” (pdf) the LEI was at 109.8, the CEI was at 103.9, and the LAG was 105.4 in June.

An excerpt from the release:

“The U.S. LEI increased in June, pointing to continuing solid growth in the U.S. economy,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board. “The widespread growth in leading indicators, with the exception of housing permits which declined once again, does not suggest any considerable growth slowdown in the short-term.”

_________

I post various indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2806.41 as this post is written

Chicago Fed National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI)

The St. Louis Fed’s Financial Stress Index (STLFSI) is one index that is supposed to measure stress in the financial system.  Its reading as of the July 12, 2018 update (reflecting data through July 6, 2018) is -1.118.

Of course, there are a variety of other measures and indices that are supposed to measure financial stress and other related issues, both from the Federal Reserve as well as from private sources.

Two other indices that I regularly monitor include the Chicago Fed National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) as well as the Chicago Fed Adjusted National Financial Conditions Index (ANFCI).

Here are summary descriptions of each, as seen in FRED:

The National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) measures risk, liquidity and leverage in money markets and debt and equity markets as well as in the traditional and “shadow” banking systems. Positive values of the NFCI indicate financial conditions that are tighter than average, while negative values indicate financial conditions that are looser than average.

The adjusted NFCI (ANFCI). This index isolates a component of financial conditions uncorrelated with economic conditions to provide an update on how financial conditions compare with current economic conditions.

For further information, please visit the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s web site:

http://www.chicagofed.org/webpages/publications/nfci/index.cfm

Below are the most recently updated charts of the NFCI and ANFCI, respectively.

The NFCI chart below was last updated on July 18, 2018 incorporating data from January 8, 1971 through July 13, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The July 13, 2018 value is -.79:

NFCI_7-18-18 -.79

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed July 18, 2018:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/NFCI

The ANFCI chart below was last updated on July 18, 2018 incorporating data from January 8,1971 through July 13, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The July 13 value is -.52:

ANFCI_7-18-18 -.52

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed July 18, 2018:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/ANFCI

_________

I post various indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2814.72 as this post is written

The July 2018 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The July 2018 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on July 12, 2018.  The headline is “Economists in New Survey See Federal Reserve on Autopilot.”

I found numerous items to be notable – although I don’t necessarily agree with them – both within the article and in the “Economist Q&A” section.

An excerpt:

Just about every economist surveyed said the next increase in the Fed’s benchmark federal-funds rate would come at the Sept. 25-26 meeting and 84% predicted the one after that would be at the Dec. 18-19 meeting.

Overall, economists see the rate ending the year at 2.33%, up from the current range of 1.75% to 2%. That is the equivalent to four quarter-percentage-point interest-rate increases in 2018. By the end of 2019, the economists see the federal-funds rate settling at 3%, which would represent two to three rate increases next year.

As seen in the “Recession Probability” section, the average response as to the odds of another recession starting within the next 12 months was 17.71%. The individual estimates, of those who responded, ranged from 1% to 35%.  For reference, the average response in June’s survey was 15.83%.

As stated in the article, the survey’s respondents were 63 academic, financial and business economists.  Not every economist answered every question.

The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:

GDP:

full-year 2018:  2.9%

full-year 2019:  2.3%

full-year 2020:  1.8%

Unemployment Rate:

December 2018: 3.7%

December 2019: 3.6%

December 2020: 3.9%

10-Year Treasury Yield:

December 2018: 3.17%

December 2019: 3.49%

December 2020: 3.47%

CPI:

December 2018:  2.5%

December 2019:  2.3%

December 2020:  2.3%

Crude Oil  ($ per bbl):

for 12/31/2018: $70.41

for 12/31/2019: $68.14

for 12/31/2020: $65.51

(note: I highlight this WSJ Economic Forecast survey each month; commentary on past surveys can be found under the “Economic Forecasts” category)

_____

I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with many of the consensus estimates and much of the commentary in these forecast surveys.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2798.29 as this post is written

Chicago Fed National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI)

The St. Louis Fed’s Financial Stress Index (STLFSI) is one index that is supposed to measure stress in the financial system.  Its reading as of the July 5, 2018 update (reflecting data through June 29, 2018) is -1.076.

Of course, there are a variety of other measures and indices that are supposed to measure financial stress and other related issues, both from the Federal Reserve as well as from private sources.

Two other indices that I regularly monitor include the Chicago Fed National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) as well as the Chicago Fed Adjusted National Financial Conditions Index (ANFCI).

Here are summary descriptions of each, as seen in FRED:

The National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) measures risk, liquidity and leverage in money markets and debt and equity markets as well as in the traditional and “shadow” banking systems. Positive values of the NFCI indicate financial conditions that are tighter than average, while negative values indicate financial conditions that are looser than average.

The adjusted NFCI (ANFCI). This index isolates a component of financial conditions uncorrelated with economic conditions to provide an update on how financial conditions compare with current economic conditions.

For further information, please visit the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s web site:

http://www.chicagofed.org/webpages/publications/nfci/index.cfm

Below are the most recently updated charts of the NFCI and ANFCI, respectively.

The NFCI chart below was last updated on July 11, 2018 incorporating data from January 8, 1971 through July 6, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The July 6, 2018 value is -.78:

NFCI

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed July 11, 2018:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/NFCI

The ANFCI chart below was last updated on July 11, 2018 incorporating data from January 8,1971 through July 6, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The July 6 value is -.51:

ANFCI_7-11-18 -.51

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed July 11, 2018:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/ANFCI

_________

I post various indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2777.15 as this post is written

CEO Confidence Surveys 2Q 2018 – Notable Excerpts

On July 5, 2018, The Conference Board released the 2nd Quarter Measure Of CEO Confidence.   The overall measure of CEO Confidence was at 63, down from 65 in the first quarter. [note:  a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses]

Notable excerpts from this July 5 Press Release include:

CEOs’ assessment of current economic conditions was about the same as in the first quarter of 2018, with 74 percent saying conditions are better compared to six months ago. CEO sentiment was also virtually unchanged regarding the assessment of current conditions in their own industries, with about 51 percent saying conditions are better than six months ago.

Looking ahead, however, CEOs’ expectations regarding the economic outlook are much less optimistic than last quarter. Now, just 48 percent expect economic conditions to improve over the next six months, compared to 63 percent in the second quarter. CEOs’ expectations regarding short-term prospects in their own industries over the next six months were relatively flat, with only 42 percent anticipating an improvement in conditions.

Last month, The Business Roundtable also released its CEO Economic Outlook Survey for the 2nd Quarter of 2018.   Notable excerpts from the June 5, 2018 release, titled “Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index Eases, Remains Near Historic High“:

The Q2 2018 CEO Economic Outlook Index — a composite of CEO expectations for sales and plans for capital spending and hiring over the next six months — fell to 111.1 in the second quarter of 2018, declining 7.5 points from 118.6 in the first quarter. While this is the first time the Index has declined in nearly two years, the Index remains well above its historical average of 81.2 for the sixth straight quarter. This signals a continued positive direction for the U.S. economy despite modest declines in all three components of the Index. The new survey also shows a CEO projection of 2.7 percent U.S. GDP growth in 2018, a small decrease from the 2.8 percent projection last quarter.

CEO plans for hiring dipped slightly to 95.5, down 3.0 points from the previous quarter. Plans for capital investment fell to 107.6, a decrease of 7.8 points from Q1 2018. Expectations for sales fell to 130.3, a decrease of 11.6 points from last quarter.

Additional details can be seen in the sources mentioned above.

_____

I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with many of the consensus estimates and much of the commentary in these forecast surveys.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2791.19 as this post is written

Deflation Probabilities – July 5, 2018 Update

While I do not agree with the current readings of the measure – I think the measure dramatically understates the probability of deflation, as measured by the CPI – the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta maintains an interesting data series titled “Deflation Probabilities.”

As stated on the site:

Using estimates derived from Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) markets, described in a technical appendix, this weekly report provides two measures of the probability of consumer price index (CPI) deflation through 2022.

A chart shows the trends of the probabilities.  As one can see in the chart, the readings are volatile.

As for the current weekly reading, the July 5, 2018 update states the following:

The 2018–23 deflation probability was 5 percent on July 3, down from 6 percent on June 27. The 2017–22 deflation probability was 6 percent on July 3, unchanged from June 27. These deflation probabilities, measuring the likelihoods of net declines in the consumer price index over the five-year periods starting in early 2017 and early 2018, are estimated from prices of the five-year Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) issued in April 2017 and April 2018 and the 10-year TIPS issued in July 2012 and July 2013.

_________

I post various economic indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2733.70 as this post is written

Recession Probability Models – July 2018

There are a variety of economic models that are supposed to predict the probabilities of recession.

While I don’t agree with the methodologies employed or probabilities of impending economic weakness as depicted by the following two models, I think the results of these models should be monitored.

Please note that each of these models is updated regularly, and the results of these – as well as other recession models – can fluctuate significantly.

The first is the “Yield Curve as a Leading Indicator” from the New York Federal Reserve.  I wrote a post concerning this measure on March 1, 2010, titled “The Yield Curve as a Leading Indicator.”

Currently (last updated July 3, 2018 using data through June) this “Yield Curve” model shows a 12.5063% probability of a recession in the United States twelve months ahead.  For comparison purposes, it showed a 11.1182% probability through May, and a chart going back to 1960 is seen at the “Probability Of U.S. Recession Predicted by Treasury Spread.” (pdf)

The second model is from Marcelle Chauvet and Jeremy Piger.  This model is described on the St. Louis Federal Reserve site (FRED) as follows:

Smoothed recession probabilities for the United States are obtained from a dynamic-factor markov-switching model applied to four monthly coincident variables: non-farm payroll employment, the index of industrial production, real personal income excluding transfer payments, and real manufacturing and trade sales. This model was originally developed in Chauvet, M., “An Economic Characterization of Business Cycle Dynamics with Factor Structure and Regime Switching,” International Economic Review, 1998, 39, 969-996. (http://faculty.ucr.edu/~chauvet/ier.pdf)

Additional details and explanations can be seen on the “U.S. Recession Probabilities” page.

This model, last updated on July 5, 2018, currently shows a .14% probability using data through April.

Here is the FRED chart (last updated July 5, 2018):

U.S. recession probability model

Data Source:  Piger, Jeremy Max and Chauvet, Marcelle, Smoothed U.S. Recession Probabilities [RECPROUSM156N], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, accessed July 5, 2018:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/RECPROUSM156N

The two models featured above can be compared against measures seen in recent blog posts.  For instance, as seen in the June 8 post titled “The June 2018 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey“ economists surveyed averaged a 15.83% probability of a U.S. recession within the next 12 months.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2733.58 as this post is written

Chicago Fed National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI)

The St. Louis Fed’s Financial Stress Index (STLFSI) is one index that is supposed to measure stress in the financial system.  Its reading as of the July 5, 2018 update (reflecting data through June 29, 2018) is -1.076.

Of course, there are a variety of other measures and indices that are supposed to measure financial stress and other related issues, both from the Federal Reserve as well as from private sources.

Two other indices that I regularly monitor include the Chicago Fed National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) as well as the Chicago Fed Adjusted National Financial Conditions Index (ANFCI).

Here are summary descriptions of each, as seen in FRED:

The National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) measures risk, liquidity and leverage in money markets and debt and equity markets as well as in the traditional and “shadow” banking systems. Positive values of the NFCI indicate financial conditions that are tighter than average, while negative values indicate financial conditions that are looser than average.

The adjusted NFCI (ANFCI). This index isolates a component of financial conditions uncorrelated with economic conditions to provide an update on how financial conditions compare with current economic conditions.

For further information, please visit the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s web site:

http://www.chicagofed.org/webpages/publications/nfci/index.cfm

Below are the most recently updated charts of the NFCI and ANFCI, respectively.

The NFCI chart below was last updated on July 5, 2018 incorporating data from January 8, 1971 through June 29, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The June 29, 2018 value is -.78:

NFCI_7-5-18 -.78

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed July 5, 2018:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/NFCI

The ANFCI chart below was last updated on July 5, 2018 incorporating data from January 8,1971 through June 29, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The June 29 value is -.51:

ANFCI_7-5-18 -.51

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed July 5, 2018:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/ANFCI

_________

I post various indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2722.94 as this post is written

Long-Term Charts Of The ECRI WLI & ECRI WLI, Gr. – June 29, 2018 Update

As I stated in my July 12, 2010 post (“ECRI WLI Growth History“):

For a variety of reasons, I am not as enamored with ECRI’s WLI and WLI Growth measures as many are.

However, I do think the measures are important and deserve close monitoring and scrutiny.

Below are three long-term charts, from the Doug Short site’s ECRI update post of June 29, 2018 titled “ECRI Weekly Leading Index Update.”  These charts are on a weekly basis through the June 29, 2018 release, indicating data through June 22, 2018.

Here is the ECRI WLI (defined at ECRI’s glossary):

ECRI WLI

This next chart depicts, on a long-term basis, the Year-over-Year change in the 4-week moving average of the WLI:

ECRI YoY 4-Week Moving Average

This last chart depicts, on a long-term basis, the WLI, Gr.:

ECRI WLI,Gr.

_________

I post various economic indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2740.09 as this post is written