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 February 8, 2018 update (reflecting data through February 2, 2018) is -1.353.

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 February 14, 2018 incorporating data from January 8, 1971 through February 9, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The February 9, 2018 value is -.82:

NFCI

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed February 14, 2018:

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

The ANFCI chart below was last updated on February 14, 2018 incorporating data from January 8,1971 through February 9, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The February 9 value is -.61:

ANFCI

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed February 14, 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 2675.31 as this post is written

Long-Term Charts Of The ECRI WLI & ECRI WLI, Gr. – February 9, 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 February 9, 2018 titled “ECRI Weekly Leading Index Update:  Yet Another Record High for WLI.”  These charts are on a weekly basis through the February 9, 2018 release, indicating data through February 2, 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:

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 2546.75 as this post is written

Philadelphia Fed – 1st Quarter 2018 Survey Of Professional Forecasters

The Philadelphia Fed 1st Quarter 2018 Survey of Professional Forecasters was released on February 9, 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:  2.5%

full-year 2020:  2.0%

full-year 2021:  1.7%

Unemployment Rate: (annual average level)

for 2018: 4.0%

for 2019: 3.8%

for 2020: 3.9%

for 2021: 4.0%

Regarding the risk of a negative quarter in real GDP in any of the next few quarters, mean estimates are 5.8%, 9.1%, 11.4%, 13.6% and 16.8% for each of the quarters from Q1 2018 through Q1 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 1.7% to 2.7% 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 2552.37 as this post is written

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

The 2017–22 deflation probability has been 0 percent since December 18. The 2016–21 deflation probability was 0.5 percent on February 7, down from 1.6 percent on January 31. These deflation probabilities, measuring the likelihoods of net declines in the consumer price index over the five-year periods starting in early 2016 and early 2017, are estimated from prices of the five-year Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) issued in April 2016 and April 2017 and the 10-year TIPS issued in July 2011 and July 2012.

_________

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 2608.32 as this post is written

The February 2018 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The February 2018 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on February 8, 2018.  The headline is “Economists Stick With Optimistic U.S. Outlook Despite Market Turmoil.”

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:

Forecasters see the U.S. economy gathering steam this year and the Federal Reserve raising short-term interest rates three or perhaps four times by the end of 2018.

Economists surveyed in recent days by The Wall Street Journal on average predicted U.S. gross domestic product would rise 2.8% in 2018, accelerating from 2.5% growth in the fourth quarter of 2017 versus a year earlier, supported by the recent package of tax-code changes.

As seen in the “Recession Probability” section, the average response as to the odds of another recession starting within the next 12 months was 13.97%. The individual estimates, of those who responded, ranged from 0% to 35%.  For reference, the average response in January’s survey was 13.11%.

As stated in the article, the survey’s respondents were 63 academic, financial and business economists.  Not every economist answered every question.  The survey was conducted February 2 – February 6, 2018.

The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:

GDP:

full-year 2018:  2.8%

full-year 2019:  2.3%

full-year 2020:  2.0%

Unemployment Rate:

December 2018: 3.8%

December 2019: 3.8%

December 2020: 4.1%

10-Year Treasury Yield:

December 2018: 3.13%

December 2019: 3.46%

December 2020: 3.54%

CPI:

December 2018:  2.2%

December 2019:  2.3%

December 2020:  2.3%

Crude Oil  ($ per bbl):

for 12/31/2018: $61.00

for 12/31/2019: $60.19

for 12/31/2020: $59.39

(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 2626.82 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 February 1, 2018 update (reflecting data through January 26, 2018) is -1.431.

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 February 7, 2018 incorporating data from January 8, 1971 through February 2, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The February 2, 2018 value is -.88:

NFCI

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed February 7, 2018:

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

The ANFCI chart below was last updated on February 7, 2018 incorporating data from January 8,1971 through February 2, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The February 2 value is -.69:

ANFCI

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed February 7, 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 2695.14 as this post is written

Recession Probability Models – February 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 February 2, 2018 using data through January) this “Yield Curve” model shows a 10.4146% probability of a recession in the United States twelve months ahead.  For comparison purposes, it showed a 11.4585% probability through December, 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 February 1, 2018, currently shows a .46% probability using data through November.

Here is the FRED chart (last updated February 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 February 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 January 12 post titled “The January 2018 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey“ economists surveyed averaged a 13.11% probability of a U.S. recession within the next 12 months.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2762.13 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 January 25, 2018 update (reflecting data through January 19, 2018) is -1.463.

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 January 31, 2018 incorporating data from January 8, 1971 through January 26, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The January 26, 2018 value is -.94:

NFCI

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

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

The ANFCI chart below was last updated on January 31, 2018 incorporating data from January 8,1971 through January 26, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The January 26 value is -.73:

ANFCI

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed January 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 2822.24 as this post is written

Another Recession Probability Indicator – Updated Through Q3 2017

Each month I have been highlighting various estimates of U.S. recession probabilities.  The latest update was that of January 4, 2018, titled “Recession Probability Models – January 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 2.4%, for the third quarter of 2017, last updated on January 30, 2018 (after the January 26, 2018 Gross Domestic Product Q4 2017 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 January 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 2824.26 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 January 18, 2018 update (reflecting data through January 12, 2018) is -1.492.

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 January 24, 2018 incorporating data from January 8, 1971 through January 19, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The January 19, 2018 value is -.94:

NFCI

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed January 24, 2018:

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

The ANFCI chart below was last updated on January 24, 2018 incorporating data from January 8,1971 through January 19, 2018, on a weekly basis.  The January 19 value is -.76:

ANFCI

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed January 24, 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 2838.84 as this post is written