I have a look at the excessive frequency weekly indicators as a result of whereas they are often very noisy, they supply a very good nowcast of the economic system, and can telegraph the upkeep or change within the economic system nicely earlier than month-to-month or quarterly information is obtainable. They’re additionally a superb option to “mark your beliefs to market.” Normally, I am going so as of lengthy main indicators, then quick main indicators, then coincident indicators.
A Observe on Methodology
Knowledge is offered in a “simply the information, ma’am” format with a minimal of commentary in order that bias is minimized.
The place related, I embrace 12-month highs and lows within the information in parentheses to the suitable. All information taken from St. Louis FRED except in any other case linked.
Just a few gadgets (e.g., Monetary Situations indexes, regional Fed indexes, inventory costs, the yield curve) have their very own metrics primarily based on long-term research of their habits.
The place information is seasonally adjusted, usually it’s scored positively whether it is inside the prime 1/3 of that vary, unfavorable within the backside 1/3, and impartial in between. The place it isn’t seasonally adjusted, and there are seasonal points, ready for the YoY change to alter signal will lag the turning level. Thus I make use of a conference: information is scored impartial whether it is lower than 1/2 as optimistic/unfavorable as at its 12-month excessive.
With lengthy main indicators, which by definition flip a minimum of 12 months earlier than a turning level within the economic system as a complete, there’s a further rule: information is robotically unfavorable if, throughout an enlargement, it has not made a brand new peak up to now yr, with the only real exception that it’s scored impartial whether it is shifting in the suitable path and is shut to creating a brand new excessive.
For all sequence the place a graph is obtainable, I’ve supplied a hyperlink to the place the related graph may be discovered.
Recap of month-to-month reviews
February information included robust jobs development at +311,000 jobs, however a rise within the unemployment charge; and a decline in new manufacturing facility orders, together with sturdy items orders.
Lengthy main indicators
Rates of interest and credit score spreads
- BAA company bond index 5.78%, down -0.12 w/w (1-yr vary: 4.20-6.59)
- 10-year Treasury bonds 3.69%, down -0.27 w/w (1.66-4.25)
- Credit score unfold 2.09%, up +0.15 w/w (1.76-2.42).
(Graph at Moody’s Seasoned Baa Company Bond Yield | FRED | St. Louis Fed.)
- 10 yr minus 2 yr: -0.89%, down -0.01% w/w (-0.86 – 1.59)
- 10 yr minus 3 month: -1.27%, up +0.36% w/w (-1.17 – 2.04)
- 2 yr minus Fed funds: +0.01%, down -0.27% w/w.
(Graph at 10-Yr Treasury Fixed Maturity Minus 2-Yr Treasury Fixed Maturity | FRED | St. Louis Fed.)
30-Yr typical mortgage charge (from Mortgage Information Each day) (graph at hyperlink).
- 6.76%, down -0.21% w/w (4.29-7.38).
On the finish of final month there was a major change in bond rankings, which all moved from unfavorable to impartial, as a result of yields didn’t make a brand new excessive within the final 4 months. Sometimes up to now this is step one in the direction of the longer lived decline in bond yields which alerts the tip of a recession sooner or later.
Whereas the unfold between company bonds and Treasuries stays optimistic, two of the three of my yield curve indicators stay unfavorable. The third – 2 yr minus Fed funds – reverted to impartial this week.
Mortgage purposes (from the Mortgage Bankers Affiliation)
- Buy apps up +7% w/w to 149 (137-349) (SA)
- Buy apps 4 wk avg. down -9 to 151 (SA) (268 excessive 3/26/22, low 151 Mar 10)
- Buy apps YoY -42% (NSA)
- Buy apps YoY 4 wk avg. -42.5% (NSA)
- Refi apps up +9% w/w (SA)
- Refi apps YoY down -76% (SA)
*(SA) = seasonally adjusted, (NSA) = not seasonally adjusted.
(Graph at yardeni)
Actual Property Loans (from the FRB)
- Down -0.1% w/w
- Up +11.9% YoY (-0.9 – 12.1).
(Graph at Actual Property Loans, All Industrial Banks | FRED | St. Louis Fed.)
Mortgage charges, like bond yields, seem to have made their peak for this cycle in October. In contrast to bonds, I cannot transfer these to “impartial” except they get nearer to their common within the final 3 years.
Actual property loans turned ever extra optimistic up to now yr. This was helped by inflation in home costs; thus the flip within the indicator will likely be when that cools.
The Federal Reserve has discontinued this weekly sequence. Knowledge is now solely launched month-to-month. January information was launched final week:
- M1 m/m down -0.5%, YoY Actual M1 down -10.9% (60+ yr low)
- M2 m/m up +0.1%, YoY Actual M2 down -8.1% (60+ yr low).
No recession has occurred and not using a YoY actual M1 unfavorable, or YoY actual M2 beneath +2.5%. Actual M2 fell beneath that threshold final March. Actual M1 additionally turned unfavorable as of Might.
Company earnings (This autumn precise S&P 500 earnings and Q1 estimated earnings from I/B/E/S through FactSet at p. 27).
- This autumn precise unchanged at 53.42 w/w, down -3.9% q/q
- Q1 estimated down -0.08 to 51.07, down -4.4% q/q.
FactSet estimates earnings, that are changed by precise earnings as they’re reported, and are up to date weekly. The “impartial” band is +/-3%. I additionally common the earlier two quarters collectively, till a minimum of 100 firms have truly reported. The cumulative decline for the reason that latest Q2 peak by way of This autumn is -5.7%; for Q1 2023 it’s -9.8%. For sure, this metric is now a agency unfavorable.
Credit score circumstances (from the Chicago Fed) (graph at hyperlink)
- Monetary Situations Index up +.03 (much less free) to -0.38 (-0.03 – -0.62)
- Adjusted Index (eradicating background financial circumstances) up +.02 (much less free) to -0.39 (+0.16 – -0.59)
- Leverage subindex up +.02 (much less free) to -0.04 (+0.51 – -0.35).
In these indexes, decrease = higher for the economic system. The Chicago Fed’s Adjusted Index’s actual break-even level is roughly -0.25. It’s sufficiently beneath that time to warrant its score change to optimistic. Within the leverage index, a unfavorable quantity is sweet, a optimistic poor. The historic breakeven level has been -0.5 for the unadjusted Index. The leverage index has been declining in latest weeks, and final week was barely beneath zero, so turned from unfavorable to impartial.
Quick main indicators
Financial Indicators from the late Jeff Miller’s “Weighing the Week Forward”
- Miller Rating (previously “C-Rating”): up +30 w/w to 298, +123 m/m (125 6/24/22 – 335 on 4/29/22)
- St. Louis Fed Monetary Stress Index: down -0.2418 to -0.4735 (0.4997 5/27/22 – -.8325 9/16/22)
- BCIp from Georg Vrba: unchanged at 31.9 iM’s Enterprise Cycle Index (100 is max worth, beneath 25 is recession sign averaging 20 weeks forward).
The Miller Rating is designed to look 52 weeks forward for whether or not or not a recession is feasible. Any rating over 500 means no recession. This quantity fell beneath that threshold initially of August 2021, so not solely is it unfavorable, however we are actually nicely into the “recession eligible” time interval.
The St. Louis Monetary Stress index is one the place a unfavorable rating is a optimistic for the economic system, and through its restricted existence, has risen above zero earlier than a recession by lower than one yr. It did so in December, however the 4 week common has subsequently dropped beneath 0, warranting a change in score again to optimistic.
The BCIp, which remained very optimistic till very not too long ago, deteriorated sharply up to now month. It was usually beneath its recession-signaling threshold for over a month, though up to now a number of weeks it improved above that vary.
Commerce weighted US$
- Down -0.78 to 120.85 w/w, +3.5% YoY (final week) (broad) (114.23 – 128.58) (Graph at Nominal Broad U.S. Greenback Index
- Up +0.06 to 104.60 w/w, up +5.5% YoY (main currencies) (graph at hyperlink) (94.63-114.78).
In early 2021, each the broad score and the USD in opposition to main currencies turned larger YoY, and so modified to impartial. For a very long time, each measures had been nicely above +5% YoY, and thus unfavorable. The $ in opposition to main currencies stays larger than the +5.0% YoY threshold, so is unfavorable; however in opposition to main currencies, the $ has been fluctuating, and this week declined sufficient to be impartial once more.
Bloomberg Commodity Index
- Down -3.76 to 104.55 (103.54-136.61)
- Down -17.3% YoY (Finest: +52.3% June 4).
(Graph at BCOM | Bloomberg Commodity Index Overview | MarketWatch.)
Bloomberg Industrial metals ETF (from Bloomberg) (graph at hyperlink)
- 156.28, down -3.72 w/w (135.97-327.84)
- Down -31.0% YoY (Finest +69.0% Might 7).
Through the Growth of 2021, commodity costs soared, and complete commodities had been very optimistic. Whole commodities (which embrace oil) are within the decrease 1/third of their vary, so are unfavorable. Industrial metals have additionally declined into the underside 1/third of their 52 week vary, so have additionally turned unfavorable.
Inventory costs S&P 500 (from CNBC) (graph at hyperlink)
Since January 3 of final yr, there have been ongoing new 3 month and even 1 yr lows. In February it made a brand new 3 month excessive, however there was no 3 month new low, so the score of this indicator improved from impartial to optimistic.
Regional Fed New Orders Indexes
(*signifies report this week) (no reviews this week)
- Empire State up +23.3 to -7.8
- Philly down -2.7 to -13.6
- Richmond down -20 to -24
- Kansas Metropolis up +2 to -6
- Dallas down -9.2 to -13.2
- Month-over-month rolling common: down -4 to -15.
The regional common is extra risky than the ISM manufacturing index, however normally appropriately forecasts its month-over-month path. These had normally been extraordinarily optimistic ever since June 2020, however since final spring, steadily declined to impartial after which unfavorable. They’re very unfavorable now.
Preliminary jobless claims
- 211,000, up +21,000 w/w
- 4-week common 197,000, up +4,000 w/w.
(Graph at St. Louis FRED.)
New claims made new all-time lows on a 4 week common in April. As soon as this metric did not make a brand new 3 month low, its score modified to impartial. It won’t flip unfavorable except and till the 4 week common is larger YoY. As a substitute, A month in the past it made a brand new 8 month low, so this metric turned optimistic once more.
Momentary staffing index (from the American Staffing Affiliation) (graph at hyperlink)
- Unchanged at 101 w/w
- Down -4.2% YoY.
This was extraordinarily optimistic on the finish of 2021. Throughout 2022, the comparisons at first slowly after which extra sharply deteriorated, and 4 weeks in the past for this primary time turned unfavorable. This week it had probably the most unfavorable February downturn for the reason that inception of the index 16 years in the past.
Tax Withholding (from the Division of the Treasury) Points: Present and Archive
- $291.5 B for the final 20 reporting days this yr vs. $284.0 B one yr in the past, +$7.1 B or +2.6%.
YoY comparisons peaked in Q1 2022. Since summer time, it has oscillated between impartial and optimistic, and was unfavorable on a month-to-month foundation a number of occasions. For the reason that first of the yr, these have turned extra optimistic.
NOTE: The Treasury has modified its reporting format for this metric, which is now present in two locations, on Tables II and IV on the line merchandise “Taxes – Withheld particular person/FICA,” which have to be added collectively for comparability functions.
Oil costs and utilization (from the E.I.A.)
- Oil down -$3.19 to $76.55 w/w, down -5.8% YoY ($71.46 – $123.70)
- Gasoline costs up +$.05 to $3.39 w/w, down -$0.27 YoY
- Utilization 4-week common down -0.2% YoY.
(Graphs at This Week In Petroleum Gasoline Part – U.S. Vitality Data Administration (EIA)).
Gasoline costs are within the center 1/third of their 3 yr vary, and so have returned to impartial. Oil can be in the midst of its 3 yr vary, and so it stays impartial.
Mileage pushed has improved to impartial.
Observe: With fuel and oil costs so risky up to now 12 months, I consider the perfect measure is in opposition to their 3 yr common. Measuring by 1 yr, each have turned optimistic.
Financial institution lending charges
- 0.306 TED unfold up +0.043 w/w (0.02 -.685)
- 4.81 LIBOR up +0.11 w/w (0.10130- 4.81) (graph at hyperlink)(new 12 month excessive).
TED was above 0.50 earlier than each the 2001 and 2008 recessions. Since early 2019 the TED unfold had remained optimistic, besides the worst of the coronavirus downturn, till this spring. It has been very uneven not too long ago, various between impartial and unfavorable. It has declined nicely beneath that degree, and has turned optimistic.
LIBOR has been growing constantly nicely into its unfavorable vary.
St. Louis FRED Weekly Financial Index
- Down -0.31 to +0.76 w/w (+0.76 3/10/23 – +6.16 2/19/22) (new 2 yr low).
After a really optimistic 2021, this measure declined to lower than half its finest YoY degree, thus altering to impartial. I’ll proceed to deal with it as impartial except the quantity turns unfavorable.
Restaurant reservations YoY (from Open Desk)
- March 2 seven day common +1% YoY (Finest +14% Mar 9, 2023)
- March 9 seven day common +14% YoY (Worst -29% Jan 13, 2022).
Final yr the metric steadily improved to impartial, and for one week, optimistic. It has not too long ago been very risky. This week it improved sharply to optimistic.
Observe I’m now measuring its 7 day common to keep away from each day whipsaws.
- Johnson Redbook up +3.0% YoY (excessive 15.8% in Jan. 2022; low 3.0% Mar 10, 2023) United States Redbook Index – 2023 Knowledge – 2005-2022 Historic – 2024 Forecast (24 month low).
The Redbook index remained optimistic nearly with out exception for the reason that starting of 2021 till October. With two exceptions the previous 8 weeks have been the bottom YoY comparisons in lots of months. The brand new hyperlink I’ve added above goes to a 5 yr graph to finest present the comparability.
I not too long ago downgraded this metric to impartial. The 4 week common, which had been declining nearly relentlessly since final June, within the final 5 weeks has stabilized at about 5%, which remains to be a 2 yr low.
Railroads (from the AAR)
- Carloads down -1.0% YoY
- Intermodal models down -11.1% YoY
- Whole masses down -6.3% YoY.
(Graph at Railfax Report – North American Rail Freight Visitors Carloading Report.)
- Harpex unchanged at 1056 (1056- 4586) harperpetersen (18 month low)
- Baltic Dry Index up +234 to 1379 (530-3369) (graph at hyperlink).
Rail carloads turned optimistic early in 2021, earlier than steadily fading to unfavorable from August by way of the tip of the yr and the start of this yr. The whole masses index has been constantly unfavorable for the previous 4 months. Previously a number of months, comparisons have hovered close to the zero line, various between impartial and unfavorable. This week they had been unfavorable once more.
Harpex elevated to close file highs once more early in 2022, however has since backed off all the best way to new lows. BDI traced an analogous trajectory, earlier than rebounding sharply up to now a number of weeks, and stays unfavorable.
I’m cautious of studying an excessive amount of into value indexes like this, since they’re closely influenced by provide (as in, an enormous overbuilding of ships within the final decade) in addition to demand.
Metal manufacturing ( American Iron and Metal Institute)
- Down -0.6% w/w
- Down -3.8% YoY (worst -10.0% Dec 2, 2022).
For the reason that finish of March 2021, in opposition to horrible comparisons, this metric had been optimistic, sometimes operating at a double digits larger YoY share development. This previous spring, after nearly steady deterioration, it turned unfavorable, and has remained so. The YoY comparisons have improved significantly up to now few weeks. Having improved above -5.0% YoY, its score has now modified to impartial.
Abstract And Conclusion
Beneath are this week’s spreadsheets of the lengthy main, quick main, and coincident readings. Verify marks point out the current studying. If there was a change this week, the prior studying is marked with an X:
|Lengthy Main Indicators||Optimistic||Impartial||Adverse|
|10 yr Treasury||✓|
|10 yr-2 yr Treasury||✓|
|10 yr-3mo Treasury||✓|
|Buy Mtg. Apps.||✓|
|Refi Mtg Apps.||✓|
|Actual Property Loans||✓|
|Adj. Fin. Situations Index||✓|
|Quick Main Indicators||Optimistic||Impartial||Adverse|
|Credit score Unfold||✓|
|St. L. Fin. Stress Index||✓|
|US$ Main currencies||✓|
|Regional Fed New Orders||✓|
|Preliminary jobless claims||✓|
|Weekly Econ. Index||✓|
|Monetary Cond. Index||✓|
The “Recession Warning” which started on the finish of November for this yr stays, as all three of my main techniques stay in step with a near-term recession.
The stabilization of the coincident indicators has continued, most notably metal and payroll tax withholding. Alternatively, Redbook shopper gross sales had their worst studying in 2 years this previous week, and the February downturn in non permanent staffing has been the worst for that month for the reason that inception of the sequence 16 years in the past.
This morning the main employment sectors of non permanent assist, residential development, and manufacturing had been combined, as manufacturing turned down, residential development hiring was barely optimistic, and non permanent employment turned up however inside its unfavorable pattern line. If their present decelerating pattern persists, all 3 are prone to be unfavorable in 2-3 months.
Normally, the indications present no recession but, however very sluggish deterioration.