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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

ECRI Recession Call

The Economic Cycle Research Institute, a New York-based independent forecasting group known as ECRI, called for a recession. (More about ECRI

 Here is what the International Business Times reported this mornng in a summary called "6 Signs We are in a Global Recession."
Stagnation may be an overly positive term. The Economic Cycle Research Institute in mid-September entitled its U.S. cyclical outlook "Economy on Recession Track."
Here's an excerpt from the report: "Today, we must sound the alarm bells loud and clear. ECRI's leading indices of U.S. economic activity have turned down in a textbook sequence. The recessinoary decline in a summary measure of numerous reliable leading indicators, coupled with an ominous drop in a broad measure of current ecnoomic activity representing facts, not forecasts, constitutes a compelling recession signal."
A recession seems baked into the cake already. We were at 1.0% GDP growth before the European PIIGS mess and then we got the double whammy of the dysfunctional congress kicking the deficit issue can down the road. Either of those "black swans" could be enough to kick the economy into a recession on their own but together they probably sealed the deal.

OK, lets assume we are currently in a recession. Is it a big one like the last one or a short, small one? The markets corrected roughly 20% off their highs this year. Is that enough pullback for a small recession?

The next question: Is this a short lived recession that was predicted already by the leading tech stocks already going down from a peak early this year? The market may have bottomed in August and could be on the way up to pull us out of a recession before the numbers even indicate one happened.

How would we know? The only way I know is to keep an eye on ECRI's leading indicators.

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