Retail sales are at recessionary levels right now, having dropped for a third consecutive month. I need to flag the inventories data that came out this morning in the US as the only thing between us and outright recession.
The background here is that ECRI has made a big splash of late with their prediction that a new recession would be dated starting right about now when data revisions come in and the recession dating committee has a chance to review these. ECRI's thesis is controversial particularly because they have been predicting a recession for the better part of a year. And the evidence seems to suggest they originally believed the recession had started in the Fall of 2011. (see here).
I have yet to update the data series that I like to use for macro business cycle forecasting...
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Edward Harrison is the founder of Credit Writedowns and a former career diplomat, investment banker and technology executive with over twenty five years of business experience. He has also been a regular economic and financial commentator in print and on television for the past decade. He speaks six languages and reads another five, skills he uses to provide a more global perspective. Edward holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College.