Tag Archives: Consumer Metrics Institute

Updates On Economic Indicators

Here are various indicators that are supposed to predict and/or depict economic activity.  These indicators have been discussed in previous blog posts:

The April Chicago Fed National Activity Index (pdf) (last updated 4/29/10)

The Consumer Metrics Institute’s Contraction Watch:

The USA TODAY/IHS Global Insight Economic Outlook Index:

an excerpt dated 4/29/10:

“The April update of the USA TODAY/IHS Global Insight Economic Outlook Index shows moderate growth in real GDP, at a six-month annualized growth rate, through late summer. The forecasted April growth rate of 3.6% is expected to slow to 3.0% – 3.1% for June through September. Tight credit, high debt burdens and the government’s monetary and fiscal stimulus programs coming to an end will temper consumer spending, keeping the growth rate solid but moderate.”

The ECRI WLI (Weekly Leading Index) : Last updated 4/16/10:

The WLI is at 133.0

Fortune’s Big Picture Index:

-I was unable to locate updated values for this index-

The Dow Jones ESI (Economic Sentiment Indicator):

As of 3/31/10 the Indicator was at 39.4.  An excerpt from the release:

“”Although the rise is modest, it is better than the stagnation of recent months,” Alen Mattich, Dow Jones Newswires “Money Talks” columnist, said. “If repeated in April it could indicate that the economy is starting to haul itself slowly upwards again.”

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

Here is the latest chart, updated through 4-24-10:

The Conference Board LEI (Leading Economic Index) and CEI (Coincident Economic Index): (pdf)

As of April 19, the LEI was at 109.6 for March, and the CEI was at 100.2 for March.  The chart shows a continuing large disparity between the two measures.

From the Press Release: “Adds Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board: “The indicators point to a slow recovery that should continue over the next few months.  The leading, coincident and lagging series are rising.  Strength of demand remains the big question going forward.  Improvements in employment and income will be the key factors in whether consumers push the recovery on a stronger path.”

“New Financial Conditions Index”

I had a post of this index on 3/10/10.  There is currently no updated value available.

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I post various indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this blog are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.

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SPX at 1206.26 as this post is written

Consumer Metrics Institute Charts

Pursuant to the last post, here are some charts from The Consumer Metrics Institute that I find noteworthy:

As I indicated in the last post, I plan on including updated information from The Consumer Metrics Institute in my frequent updates of economic indicators…

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SPX at 1170.51 as this post is written

The Consumer Metrics Institute

In the previous blog post I wrote of the issues and implications regarding the current economic growth rate.

There are a variety of sources and methods one may use in trying to gauge current and future economic growth.  In this blog I frequently highlight and discuss many I feel are prominent and/or noteworthy.  However, I am constantly searching for new sources as I feel that many of the well established, existing indices and methodologies have inherent weaknesses.  These weaknesses, in many cases, are being magnified and exacerbated in our current economic environment.

One source of forecasting economic trends that I have recently become aware of is called “The Consumer Metrics Institute.” This site uses proprietary methodologies that appear quite disparate from those used by others.  I’ll probably comment more on these methodologies later; however, for those interested the FAQs section as well as various other pages on the site provide an overview.

Their methods are yielding statistics that I find most interesting, both with regard to our current economic condition, as well as those pre-dating the 3Q/4Q 2008 financial maelstrom and aftermath.

In aggregate, I interpret the data shown by The Consumer Metrics Institute to show that current economic growth is not as strong as widely depicted and believed.  Based upon their data, I infer (based on this data) that the economy may be far more vulnerable to significant economic weakness than widely envisioned.

It is always hazardous to place too much reliance on one data source, especially when it comes to economic forecasting.  As well, it is easy to view the non-confirming (vs. highly established economic forecasting sources and widely held economic expectations)  nature of this Consumer Metrics Institute data with skepticism as it belies many underlying consensus beliefs and associated data sources.

However, I think this is a potentially very valuable source of information and I plan on monitoring it diligently.  It will be included in my frequent updates of economic indicators.

In the next post I will display a few charts from the site that I find especially noteworthy…

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SPX at 1171.80 as this post is written