Throughout this site there are many discussions of economic indicators. This post is the latest in a series of posts indicating facets of U.S. economic weakness or a notably low growth rate.
The level and trend of economic growth is especially notable at this time. As seen in various sources, recession estimates have been at high levels.
As seen in the April 2023 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey the consensus (average estimate) among various economists is for .45% GDP in 2023, 1.61% GDP in 2024, and 2.20% GDP in 2025.
Charts Indicating U.S. Economic Weakness
Below is a small sampling of charts that depict weak growth or contraction, and a brief comment for each:
The Yield Curve (T10Y2Y)
Many people believe that the Yield Curve is a leading economic indicator for the United States economy.
On March 1, 2010, I wrote a post on the issue, titled “The Yield Curve As A Leading Economic Indicator.”
While I continue to have the stated reservations regarding the “Yield Curve” as an indicator, I do believe that it should be monitored.
The U.S. Yield Curve (one proxy seen below) is negative and is (all things considered) notably very low when viewed from a long-term perspective. Below is the spread between the 10-Year Treasury Constant Maturity and the 2-Year Treasury Constant Maturity from June 1976 through the July 5, 2023 update, showing a value of -.99% [10-Year Treasury Yield (FRED DGS10) of 3.86% as of the July 5 update, 2-Year Treasury Yield (FRED DGS2) of 4.94% as of the July 5 update]:
source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, 10-Year Treasury Constant Maturity Minus 2-Year Treasury Constant Maturity [T10Y2Y], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed July 6, 2023: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/T10Y2Y
Value of Manufacturers’ New Orders for Consumer Goods Industries (ACOGNO)
A measure for consumer goods exhibiting a recent peak is the “Value of Manufacturers’ New Orders for Consumer Goods Industries” (ACOGNO). Shown below is this measure with last value of $241,009 Million through May 2023 (last updated July 5, 2023):
Displayed below is this same ACOGNO measure on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis with value -6.2:
source: U.S. Census Bureau, Value of Manufacturers’ New Orders for Consumer Goods Industries [ACOGNO], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed July 5, 2023: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/ACOGNO
Total Business Sales (TOTBUSSMSA)
Total Business Sales, when viewed from a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis, has recently dipped into negative territory. Shown below is a chart of Total Business Sales with data through April 2023 (last value of $1,821,635), last updated June 15, 2023:
Here is the same measure on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis, with value -1.3:
source: U.S. Census Bureau, Total Business Sales [TOTBUSSMSA], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed July 5, 2023: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/TOTBUSSMSA
Total Federal Receipts (MTSR133FMS)
“Total Federal Receipts,” as measured on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis, has (since 2020) been volatile for various reasons. The current value, last updated June 12, 2023, is -21.0, which is among the lowest reading of the data series’ history:
source: U.S. Department of the Treasury. Fiscal Service, Total Federal Receipts [MTSR133FMS], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed July 5, 2023: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MTSR133FMS
As mentioned previously, many other indicators discussed on this site indicate weak economic growth or economic contraction, if not outright (gravely) problematical economic conditions.
The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation
SPX at 4392.72 as this post is written