Just the facts...
|Baseline and Rate of Change (BaR) Analysis Grid©|
|The BaR Analysis Grid© clarifies current economic conditions and signals how near the economy is to a recession. The mean of coordinates (MoC) is the average of all plotted points. It indicates the overall health of the economy. Leading indicators (LD) are a subset of indicators that provide insight into emerging trends (business cycles are comprised of multiple mini-cycles). Click here to learn how to read the BaR grid. The BaR is updated every Friday.
|Insight: As expected, with the modest improvement in manufacturing, the MoC has finally followed the leading indicator (LD) into the expansion quad, where the LD has mostly been over the past few months. The LD continues to signal that this business cycle has life left in it. Due to cyclicity, the LD may shift leftward. This won’t mean much unless it stays in the decline quad for an extended period.|
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|Click on arrows to see how the current business cycle has progressed since the last recession.
|Data updates: 2/17 to 2/21: Private building permits and existing home sales; 2/10 to 2/14: Total vehicles, nonfarm job openings, nonfarm hires, NFIB small business optimism, retail sales, industrial production, industrial capacity utilization; 2/3 to 2/7: University of Michigan consumer sentiment, manufacturing, yield curve spread, Credit Managers' Index, nonmanufacturing, St. Louis Fed Financial Stress Index, unemployment claims, and temporary employment.
Note: The Bureau of Labor Statistics has revised temporary employment data. The adjustment moved temporary employment closer to the baseline. ISM has revised its historical data and other government statistics have been revised; however, there has been minimal impact on the distance from the baseline for these measures.
|Percent from Baseline: 3-Month and 1-Year Trends|
|Compared to January, the MoC held steady for the first time since August 2019. Improvements in consumer sentiment, small business optimism, and the Credit Managers' Index are noteworthy. The drop in job openings, revised employment data, and the pushed-forward yield curve kept the MoC from moving higher. Updated 2/14. Next update 2/28. To see previous tables go here.
|Current Business Cycle
Rolling 3-Month Average Through Dec. '19; Updated 1/23/20
(See other business cycles)
|The problem with putting two and two together is that sometimes you get four, and sometimes you get twenty-two.” ― Nick Charles, The Thin Man|