Category Archives: Economic Forecasts

Long-Term Charts Of The ECRI WLI & ECRI WLI, Gr. – December 14, 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 December 14, 2018 titled “ECRI Weekly Leading Index Update:  ‘Inflation Cycles Down as Fed Stays Starstruck’.”  These charts are on a weekly basis through the December 14, 2018 release, indicating data through December 7, 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 WLI YoY of the Four-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 2599.95 as this post is written

The December 2018 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The December 2018 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on December 13, 2018.  The headline is “Economists See U.S.-China Trade War as Biggest Threat in 2019.”

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.

Two excerpts:

Nearly half of economists who responded to a survey by The Wall Street Journal, 47.3%, said they viewed the U.S. dispute with Beijing as the No. 1 risk for 2019. Some 20% cited financial market disruptions and 12.7% pointed to a slowdown in business investment.

also:

Just 7.3% of economists, or four respondents in total, agreed that Fed rate increases were the biggest threat to the economy in 2019.

A couple of private-sector economists cited other risks, such as excessive federal spending. Just over 9% pointed to slowing global growth as the biggest threat.

As seen in the “Recession Probability” section, the average response as to the odds of another recession starting within the next 12 months was 22.02%. The individual estimates, of those who responded, ranged from 0% to 50%.  For reference, the average response in November’s survey was 19.55%.

As stated in the article, the survey’s respondents were 60 academic, financial and business economists.  Not every economist answered every question.  The survey was conducted December 7 – December 11, 2018.

The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:

GDP:

full-year 2018:  3.1%

full-year 2019:  2.3%

full-year 2020:  1.7%

full-year 2021:  1.8%

Unemployment Rate:

December 2018: 3.7%

December 2019: 3.6%

December 2020: 3.8%

December 2021: 4.1%

10-Year Treasury Yield:

December 2018: 3.00%

December 2019: 3.35%

December 2020: 3.38%

December 2021: 3.36%

CPI:

December 2018:  2.20%

December 2019:  2.30%

December 2020:  2.10%

December 2021:  2.20%

Crude Oil  ($ per bbl):

for 12/31/2018: $54.95

for 12/31/2019: $59.21

for 12/31/2020: $59.43

for 12/31/2021: $60.42

(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 2644.29 as this post is written

December 2018 Duke/CFO Global Business Outlook Survey – Notable Excerpts

On December 12, 2018 the December 2018 Duke/CFO Global Business Outlook was released.  It contains a variety of statistics regarding how CFOs view business and economic conditions.

In this CFO survey press release, I found the following to be the most notable excerpts – although I don’t necessarily agree with them:

Nearly half (48.6 percent) of U.S. CFOs believe that the nation’s economy will be in recession by the end of 2019, and 82 percent believe that a recession will have begun by the end of 2020. 

also:

In 2019, CFOs expect sub-3% growth for the U.S. economy, with accompanying capital spending and employment growth of about 3 percent. 

also:

Moreover, their forecasts are skewed to the downside, with a one-in-ten chance that annual real growth will be a meager 0.6 percent. In this worst-case scenario, CFOs would expect their capital spending to fall by 1.3 percent and for hiring to remain flat.

The CFO survey contains two Optimism Index charts, with the bottom chart showing U.S. Optimism (with regard to the economy) at 66, as seen below:

CFO Optimism

It should be interesting to see how well the CFOs predict business and economic conditions going forward.   I discussed past various aspects of this, and the importance of these predictions, in the July 9, 2010 post titled “The Business Environment”.

(past posts on CEO and CFO surveys can be found under the “CFO and CEO Confidence” tag)

_____

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 2664.75 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 December 6, 2018 update (reflecting data through November 30, 2018) is -.889.

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 December 12, 2018 incorporating data from January 8, 1971 through December 7, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The December 7 value is -.76:

NFCI

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed December 12, 2018:  
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/NFCI

The ANFCI chart below was last updated on December 12, 2018 incorporating data from January 8, 1971 through December 7, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The December 7 value is -.54:

ANFCI

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed December 12, 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 2666.89 as this post is written

Recession Probability Models – December 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 December 6, 2018 using data through November) this “Yield Curve” model shows a 15.7683% probability of a recession in the United States twelve months ahead.  For comparison purposes, it showed a 14.1197% probability through October, 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 December 3, 2018, currently shows a .58% probability using data through September.

Here is the FRED chart (last updated December 3, 2018):

Data Source:  Piger, Jeremy Max and Chauvet, Marcelle, Smoothed U.S. Recession Probabilities [RECPROUSM156N], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, accessed December 10, 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 November 15, 2018 post titled “The November 2018 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey“ economists surveyed averaged a 19.55% probability of a U.S. recession within the next 12 months.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2633.08 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 December 6, 2018 update (reflecting data through November 30, 2018) is -.889.

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 December 5, 2018 incorporating data from January 8, 1971 through November 30, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The November 30 value is -.78:

NFCI_12-5-18 -.78

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed December 6, 2018:

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

The ANFCI chart below was last updated on December 5, 2018 incorporating data from January 8,1971 through November 30, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The November 30 value is -.58:

ANFCI_12-5-18 -.58

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed December 6, 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 2653.24 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 November 23, 2018 update (reflecting data through November 16, 2018) is -.919.

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 November 28, 2018 incorporating data from January 8, 1971 through November 23, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The November 23 value is -.81:

NFCI_11-28-18 -.81

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed November 28, 2018:

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

The ANFCI chart below was last updated on November 28, 2018 incorporating data from January 8,1971 through November 23, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The November 23 value is -.62:

ANFCI_11-28-18 -.62

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed November 28, 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 2729.64 as this post is written

Updates Of Economic Indicators November 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 November 2018 Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) updated as of November 26, 2018:

The CFNAI, with current reading of .24:

CFNAI_11-26-18 .24

source:  Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago Fed National Activity Index [CFNAI], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, November 26, 2018;

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

The CFNAI-MA3, with current reading of .31:

CFNAIMA3_11-26-18 .31

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, November 26, 2018;

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

The ECRI WLI (Weekly Leading Index):

As of November 21, 2018 (incorporating data through November 16, 2018) the WLI was at 144.9 and the WLI, Gr. was at -3.7%.

A chart of the WLI,Gr., from the Doug Short’s site ECRI update post of November 21, 2018:

ECRI WLI,Gr.

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

Here is the latest chart, depicting the ADS Index from December 31, 2007 through November 17, 2018:

ADS Index

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

As per the November 21, 2018 press release, titled “The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. Increased in October” (pdf) the LEI was at 112.1, the CEI was at 104.7, and the LAG was 105.5 in October.

An excerpt from the release:

“The US LEI increased slightly in October, and the pace of improvement slowed for the first time since May,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Economic Research and Global Research Chair at The Conference Board. “The index still points to robust economic growth in early 2019, but the rapid pace of growth may already have peaked. While near term economic growth should remain strong, longer term growth is likely to moderate to about 2.5 percent by mid to late 2019.”

Here is a chart of the LEI from the Doug Short’s site Conference Board Leading Economic Index update of November 21, 2018:

Conference Board LEI

_________

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 2665.71 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 November 15, 2018 update (reflecting data through November 9, 2018) is -.998.

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 November 21, 2018 incorporating data from January 8, 1971 through November 16, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The November 16 value is -.82:

NFCI_11-21-18 -.82

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed November 21, 2018:

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

The ANFCI chart below was last updated on November 21, 2018 incorporating data from January 8,1971 through November 16, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The November 16 value is -.64:

ANFCI_11-21-18 -.64

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed November 21, 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 2661.20 as this post is written

Long-Term Charts Of The ECRI WLI & ECRI WLI, Gr. – November 16, 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 November 16, 2018 titled “ECRI Weekly Leading Index Update:  ‘Construction Crumbling’.”  These charts are on a weekly basis through the November 16, 2018 release, indicating data through November 9, 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 WLI YoY of the Four-Week Moving Average

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

ECRI WLI, Gr. -3.0 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 2727.82 as this post is written