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 June 14, 2018 update (reflecting data through June 8, 2018) is -1.151.

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 June 20, 2018 incorporating data from January 8, 1971 through June 15, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The June 15, 2018 value is -.81:

NFCI_6-20-18

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed June 20, 2018:

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

The ANFCI chart below was last updated on June 20, 2018 incorporating data from January 8,1971 through June 15, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The June 15 value is -.52:

ANFCI_6-20-18

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed June 20, 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 2770.88 as this post is written

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

On June 13, 2018 the June 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:

The Optimism Index in the U.S. remained at an all-time high of 71 on a 100-point scale this quarter. Optimism fell in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. The survey’s CFO Optimism Index is an accurate predictor of future hiring and overall GDP growth.

“This increased U.S. optimism appears to have increased expectations for M&A activity,” Graham said. “More than 70 percent of CFOs expect more mergers and acquisitions to occur over the next year.”

also:

The proportion of firms indicating they are having difficulty hiring and retaining qualified employees remains near a two-decade high, with 41 percent of CFOs calling it a top concern. The typical U.S. firm says it plans to increase employment by a median 3 percent in 2018 and expects wages to increase 4 percent on average.

“The tight labor market continues to put upward pressure on wages,” said Chris Schmidt, senior editor at CFO Research. “Wage inflation is now a top five concern of U.S. CFOs.”

Wage growth should be strongest in the tech, transportation, and service/consulting industries. U.S. companies expect the prices of their products to increase by more than 3 percent over the next year.

The CFO survey contains two Optimism Index charts, with the bottom chart showing U.S. Optimism (with regard to the economy) at 71, as seen below:

Duke CFO Optimism chart

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 2775.63 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 June 7, 2018 update (reflecting data through June 1, 2018) is -1.085.

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 June 13, 2018 incorporating data from January 8, 1971 through June 8, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The June 8, 2018 value is -.81:

NFCI_6-13-18 -.81

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed June 13, 2018:

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

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

ANFCI_6-13-18 -.52

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed June 13, 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 2780.95 as this post is written

Deflation Probabilities – June 8, 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 June 8, 2018 update states the following:

The 2018–23 deflation probability was 4 percent on June 7, down from 5 percent on May 30. The 2017–22 deflation probability was also 4 percent on June 7, unchanged from May 30. 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 2779.03 as this post is written

Long-Term Charts Of The ECRI WLI & ECRI WLI, Gr. – June 8, 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 Doug Short’s ECRI update post of June 8, 2018 titled “ECRI Weekly Leading Index.”  These charts are on a weekly basis through the June 8, 2018 release, indicating data through June 1, 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. 2.6 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 2768.56 as this post is written

The June 2018 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The June 2018 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on June 7, 2018.  The headline is “Most Forecasters See Modest Growth Boost From Bank-Regulation Rollback.”

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:

Among dozens of forecasters surveyed in recent days by The Wall Street Journal, 61% said they expected U.S. growth in the medium term would be modestly stronger thanks to the bill signed last month by President Donald Trump. Some 33% said they expected no effect on economic growth from the rules-rollback. Few expected a decline or significant increase.

As seen in the “Recession Probability” section, the average response as to the odds of another recession starting within the next 12 months was 15.83%. The individual estimates, of those who responded, ranged from 0% to 33%.  For reference, the average response in May’s survey was 14.59%.

As stated in the article, the survey’s respondents were 56 academic, financial and business economists.  Not every economist answered every question.  The survey was conducted June 1 – June 5, 2018.

The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:

GDP:

full-year 2018:  2.9%

full-year 2019:  2.4%

full-year 2020:  1.9%

Unemployment Rate:

December 2018: 3.6%

December 2019: 3.6%

December 2020: 3.9%

10-Year Treasury Yield:

December 2018: 3.23%

December 2019: 3.59%

December 2020: 3.54%

CPI:

December 2018:  2.5%

December 2019:  2.3%

December 2020:  2.2%

Crude Oil  ($ per bbl):

for 12/31/2018: $67.16

for 12/31/2019: $66.62

for 12/31/2020: $63.05

(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 2769.09 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 May 31, 2018 update (reflecting data through May 25, 2018) is -1.148.

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 June 6, 2018 incorporating data from January 8, 1971 through June 1, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The June 1, 2018 value is -.80:

Chicago Fed National Financial Conditions Index

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

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

The ANFCI chart below was last updated on June 6, 2018 incorporating data from January 8,1971 through June 1, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The June 1 value is -.53:

Chicago Fed Adjusted National Financial Conditions Index

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed June 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 2772.35 as this post is written

Recession Probability Models – June 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 June 4, 2018 using data through May) this “Yield Curve” model shows a 11.1182% probability of a recession in the United States twelve months ahead.  For comparison purposes, it showed a 11.2105% probability through April, 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 June 1, 2018, currently shows a .16% probability using data through March.

Here is the FRED chart (last updated June 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 June 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 May 10 post titled “The May 2018 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey“ economists surveyed averaged a 14.59% probability of a U.S. recession within the next 12 months.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2748.80 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 May 31, 2018 update (reflecting data through May 25, 2018) is -1.148.

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 May 31, 2018 incorporating data from January 8, 1971 through May 25, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The May 25, 2018 value is -.85:

Chicago Fed National Financial Conditions Index

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed May 31, 2018:

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

The ANFCI chart below was last updated on May 31, 2018 incorporating data from January 8,1971 through May 25, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The May 25 value is -.58:

Chicago Fed Adjusted National Financial Conditions Index

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed May 31, 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 2706.57 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 May 17, 2018 update (reflecting data through May 11, 2018) is -1.122.

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 May 23, 2018 incorporating data from January 8, 1971 through May 18, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The May 18, 2018 value is -.83:

NFCI

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed May 23, 2018:

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

The ANFCI chart below was last updated on May 23, 2018 incorporating data from January 8,1971 through May 18, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The May 18 value is -.58:

ANFCI

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed May 23, 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 2713.95 as this post is written