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 August 9, 2018 update (reflecting data through August 3, 2018) is -1.214.

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 August 15, 2018 incorporating data from January 8, 1971 through August 10, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The August 10, 2018 value is -.86:

NFCI_8-15-18 -.86

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed August 15, 2018:

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

The ANFCI chart below was last updated on August 15, 2018 incorporating data from January 8,1971 through August 10, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The August 10 value is -.65:

ANFCI_8-15-18 -.65

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed August 15, 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 2818.37 as this post is written

The August 2018 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The August 2018 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on August 9, 2018.  The headline is “Growth Seen Hitting 3% in 2018, but Risks to Outlook Mount After This Year.”

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:

The average forecast for growth in 2019 was 2.4%, little changed in recent months. By 2020, the average forecaster projects economic growth will slow to 1.8%. That is down from estimates earlier this year of 2%.

Trump administration officials disagree with these projections. The White House has said 3% growth or better can be sustained. Other government forecasters, including the Federal Reserve, Congressional Budget Office and International Monetary Fund all project a slowdown from the growth rate of 2018. The Fed, for example, sees 2% growth in 2020 and 1.8% growth in the long run.

As seen in the “Recession Probability” section, the average response as to the odds of another recession starting within the next 12 months was 18.3%. The individual estimates, of those who responded, ranged from 1% to 50%.  For reference, the average response in July’s survey was 17.71%.

As stated in the article, the survey’s respondents were 57 academic, financial and business economists.  Not every economist answered every question.  The survey was conducted August 3 – August 7, 2018.

The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:

GDP:

full-year 2018:  3.0%

full-year 2019:  2.4%

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: 3.46%

December 2020: 3.50%

CPI:

December 2018:  2.5%

December 2019:  2.4%

December 2020:  2.3%

Crude Oil  ($ per bbl):

for 12/31/2018: $69.91

for 12/31/2019: $67.52

for 12/31/2020: $65.66

(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 2833.28 as this post is written

Philadelphia Fed – 3rd Quarter 2018 Survey Of Professional Forecasters

The Philadelphia Fed 3rd Quarter 2018 Survey of Professional Forecasters was released on August 10, 2018.  This survey is somewhat unique in various regards, such as it incorporates a longer time frame for various measures.

The survey shows, among many measures, the following median expectations:

Real GDP: (annual average level)

full-year 2018:  2.8%

full-year 2019:  2.8%

full-year 2020:  1.8%

full-year 2021:  1.5%

Unemployment Rate: (annual average level)

for 2018: 3.9%

for 2019: 3.6%

for 2020: 3.7%

for 2021: 4.0%

Regarding the risk of a negative quarter in real GDP in any of the next few quarters, mean estimates are 6.6%, 10.5%, 13.2%, 16.4% and 19.6% for each of the quarters from Q3 2018 through Q3 2019, respectively.

As well, there are also a variety of time frames shown (present quarter through the year 2027) with the median expected inflation (annualized) of each.  Inflation is measured in Headline and Core CPI and Headline and Core PCE.  Over all time frames expectations are shown to be in the 2.0% to 2.5% range.

_____

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 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 2826.21 as this post is written

Deflation Probabilities – August 9, 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 August 9, 2018 update states the following:

The 2018–23 deflation probability was 5 percent on August 8, unchanged from August 1. The 2017–22 deflation probability was 3 percent on August 8, down from 4 percent on August 1. 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 2858.16 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 August 2, 2018 update (reflecting data through July 27, 2018) is -1.208.

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 August 8, 2018 incorporating data from January 8, 1971 through August 3, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The August 3, 2018 value is -.84:

NFCI_8-8-18 -.84

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed August 8, 2018:

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

The ANFCI chart below was last updated on August 8, 2018 incorporating data from January 8,1971 through August 3, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The August 3 value is -.60:

ANFCI_8-8-18 -.60

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed August 8, 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 2857.70 as this post is written

Recession Probability Models – August 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 August 2, 2018 using data through July) this “Yield Curve” model shows a 13.5994% probability of a recession in the United States twelve months ahead.  For comparison purposes, it showed a 12.5063% probability through June, 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 August 1, 2018, currently shows a 1.70% probability using data through May.

Here is the FRED chart (last updated August 1, 2018):

RECPROUSM156N

Data Source:  Piger, Jeremy Max and Chauvet, Marcelle, Smoothed U.S. Recession Probabilities [RECPROUSM156N], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, accessed August 4, 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 July 12 post titled “The July 2018 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey“ economists surveyed averaged a 17.71% probability of a U.S. recession within the next 12 months.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2850.40 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 26, 2018 update (reflecting data through July 20, 2018) is -1.218.

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 August 1, 2018 incorporating data from January 8, 1971 through July 27, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The July 27, 2018 value is -.84:

NFCI

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed August 1, 2018:

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

The ANFCI chart below was last updated on August 1, 2018 incorporating data from January 8,1971 through July 27, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The July 27 value is -.56:

ANFCI

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed August 1, 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 2809.76 as this post is written

Another Recession Probability Indicator – Updated Through Q1 2018

Each month I have been highlighting various estimates of U.S. recession probabilities.  The latest update was that of July 5, 2018, titled “Recession Probability Models – July 2018.”

While I don’t agree with the methodologies employed or the probabilities of impending economic weakness as depicted by these and other estimates, I do believe that the results of these models and estimates should be monitored.

Another probability of recession is provided by James Hamilton, and it is titled “GDP-Based Recession Indicator Index.”  A description of this index, as seen in FRED:

This index measures the probability that the U.S. economy was in a recession during the indicated quarter. It is based on a mathematical description of the way that recessions differ from expansions. The index corresponds to the probability (measured in percent) that the underlying true economic regime is one of recession based on the available data. Whereas the NBER business cycle dates are based on a subjective assessment of a variety of indicators that may not be released until several years after the event , this index is entirely mechanical, is based solely on currently available GDP data and is reported every quarter. Due to the possibility of data revisions and the challenges in accurately identifying the business cycle phase, the index is calculated for the quarter just preceding the most recently available GDP numbers. Once the index is calculated for that quarter, it is never subsequently revised. The value at every date was inferred using only data that were available one quarter after that date and as those data were reported at the time.

If the value of the index rises above 67% that is a historically reliable indicator that the economy has entered a recession. Once this threshold has been passed, if it falls below 33% that is a reliable indicator that the recession is over.

Additional reference sources for this index and its construction can be seen in the Econbrowser post of February 14, 2016 titled “Recession probabilities” as well as on the “The Econbrowser Recession Indicator Index” page.

Below is a chart depicting the most recent value of 2.7%, for the first quarter of 2018, last updated on July 27, 2018 (after the July 27, 2018 Gross Domestic Product Q2 2018 Advance Estimate (pdf)):

GDP-Based Recession Indicator Index

source:  Hamilton, James, GDP-Based Recession Indicator Index [JHGDPBRINDX], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis on July 30, 2018:

https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/JHGDPBRINDX

_________

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 2807.33 as this post is written

Long-Term Charts Of The ECRI WLI & ECRI WLI, Gr. – July 27, 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 July 27, 2018 titled “ECRI Weekly Leading Index Update.”  These charts are on a weekly basis through the July 27, 2018 release, indicating data through July 20, 2018.

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

ECRI WLI 147.8

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

ECRI WLI YoY of the Four-Week Moving Average 2.61 Percent

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

ECRI WLI,Gr. .8 Percent

_________

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 2827.25 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 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