Grim Stock Signals Piling Up as Wall Street Mulls Recession Odds

A new Bloomberg post cites my study:

“Nine turbulent weeks and a correction in U.S. stocks have left analysts with a thorny question. What’s the market saying about the economy? And while few see incontrovertible signs investors are bracing for a recession, it’s a word that’s been coming up more as they seek a signal in the chaos.

From the ascent of defensive industries to the sudden craze for companies that resist volatility, stocks are acting in ways that have presaged slowing growth in the past. That makes sense: gains in the economy and corporate earnings are forecast to ease in 2019 from this year’s torrid pace.

Befitting that, most of the charts that follow reflect observations by analysts who don’t see a recession as the most obvious conclusion. Many view the sell-off as healthy after a 10-year run of gains. But with a trade war flaring and the Federal Reserve set to boost interest rates again, the number of stock researchers who are at least willing to mention the possibility is rising.”

“Economists haven’t always done a great job predicting contractions. A 2014 study by the International Monetary Fund’s Prakash Loungani found that not one of 49 recessions suffered around the world in 2009 had been predicted by the consensus of economists a year earlier. Loungani previously reported that only two of the 60 recessions of the 1990s had been anticipated a year in advance.”

“[…] the economic indicators that often precede recession — yield curve inversion and rising unemployment — are not flashing warning signs. The yield curve is flat but not inverted and the unemployment rate keeps falling, as opposed to rising when a recession approaches.”

Posted by at 1:19 PM

Labels: Forecasting Forum


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