Wednesday, September 14, 2022

See the Signs

Life is demanding
Without understanding

--Ace of Base

Article lays out five signs of recession currently flashing red:

1) Declining monetary base. As quantitative tightening proceeds, money supply should drop even more.

2) Inverted yield curve. Inverted yield curves are leading indicators of economic problems, and have preceded every recession for decades.

3) Tighter lending standards. Economic slowdowns increase risk aversion. Banks tighten credit standards to avoid losses during recessions. We're approaching tightness associated with past recessions.

4) Falling housing market prices. Mortgage rates have more than doubled over the past year. As prices and borrowing costs go up, demand for houses has gone down. Inventory is now above 10 months of supply--a threshold that has consistently been associated with past recessions.

5) Declining manufacturing and trade sales. Sales are down over one percent YOY. Declines below zero have coincided with every recession since the 1970s.

These indicators suggest that a recession is not imminent. Rather, it is likely already here.

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