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.
Currently (last updated December 5, using data through November) this “Yield Curve” model shows a 6.42% probability of a recession in the United States twelve months ahead. It showed a 5.74% probability through October.
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)
This model, last updated on November 30, currently shows a 2.94% probability using data through September.
Here is the FRED chart (last updated December 3) :
The two models featured above can be compared against measures seen in recent blog posts. For instance, the November 2012 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey (summarized in the November 13 blog post) showed that economists surveyed averaged a 21% probability of a U.S. recession within the next 12 months.
Of course, there is a (very) limited number of prominent parties, such as ECRI (most recently featured in the November 30 post) that believe the U.S. is already experiencing a recession.
The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation
SPX at 1410.05 as this post is written