Real GDP Growth
A contraction of 3% or more in the LEI’s six-month annualized rate-of-change has always been associated with a recession, with an average lead time of four months. Using that guideline, the most recent recession warning was triggered in June 2022, and the lead time is now approaching the longest ever recorded (16 months in 2006-07). If today’s lead time matches the 2006-07 experience, the business-cycle peak will occur in October.
Last month, we noted that Jay Powell’s preferred measure of the yield curve—Near Term Forward Spread (NTFS)—was a winner, but a newly introduced index by the Fed, “Financial Conditions Impulse on Growth (FCI-G),” is a dud. Several simple forecasting gauges we’ve relied on for years are considerably more effective.