Assessing the Business Cycle, Mid-May 2019


2019/05/20 02:39

Several key series look like they have peaked; nowcasts indicate slowing growth. Forward looking indicators look “iffy”.


Figure 1: Nonfarm payroll employment (blue), industrial production (red), personal income excluding transfers in Ch.2012$ (green), manufacturing and trade sales in Ch.2012$ (black), and monthly GDP in Ch.2012$ (pink), all log normalized to 2018M12=0.  Source: BLS, Federal Reserve, BEA, via FRED, Macroeconomic Advisers (5/3 release), and author’s calculations.

图1:非农就业人数(蓝色),工业生产(红色),个人收入不包括2012年的转移(绿色),2012年的制造和贸易销售额(黑色)和2012年的月度GDP (粉红色),所有日志标准化为2018M12 = 0。资料来源:BLS,美联储,BEA,通过FRED,宏观经济顾问(5/3发布)和作者的计算。

Several series closely followed by tne NBER’s Business Cycle Dating Committee (BCDC) have seemingly peaked — although it could be growth resumes (or series get revised upwards). Industrial production was revised downward in latest release.

NBER的商业周期约会委员会(BCDC)紧随其后的几个系列似乎已达到顶峰 - 尽管可能是增长恢复(或系列向上修订)。工业生产在最新版本中向下修正。

Most everybody agrees on a short term deceleration in growth in Q2.


Figure 2: Quarter-on-quarter SAAR GDP growth 2019Q1 advance release (blue), Atlanta Fed 5/16 GDPNow (red), 5/17 NY Fed GDP Nowcast (teal), and 5/17 Macroeconomic Advisers nowcasts (black). Source: BEA, Atlanta Fed, NY Fed, Macroeconomic Advisers, author’s calculations.

图2:SAI季度GDP增长2019Q1提前释放(蓝色),亚特兰大联储5/16 GDPNow(红色),5/17纽约联储GDP预测(蓝绿色)和5/17宏观经济顾问临时预报(黑色)。资料来源:BEA,亚特兰大联储,纽约联储,宏观经济顾问,作者的计算。

And the term spread (10yr-3mo) has inverted again.


Figure 3: Baker, Bloom and Davis economic policy uncertainty (EPU) index (dark blue, left scale), centered 7 day moving average (red, left scale), and 10yr-3mo constant maturity Treasury yield, % (teal, right scale). Orange shading denotes Trump administration. Source:, Federal Reserve via FRED, Treasury Department, and author’s calculations.

图3:Baker,Bloom和Davis经济政策不确定性(EPU)指数(深蓝色,左侧比例),中心7天移动平均线(红色,左侧比例)和10年-3mo恒定期限国债收益率,%(蓝绿色,正确比例) )。橙色阴影表示特朗普管理。资料来源,美联储通过FRED,财政部和作者的计算。

What is interesting is that the term spread has not been inverted with economic policy uncertainty at such elevated levels, over the period 1985 onward during which we have such an EPU index.


Note the overall index is much more subdued than the trade policy categorical index. As noted earlier, other capital goods imports and equipment investment are declining.


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