Browsing Posts tagged EREPSI

Economic Indicators Roundup (August 18, 2014)

Economic indicators are everywhere, so this is kind of like a dashboard that I like to follow.  For each indicator, I will try to give you a brief description, the latest reading and what I understand to be its implications.  For simplicity, I will assign each a rating of positive, neutral or negative.  For the economic indicators, I will denote in each one’s section how I decide which rating to give it.  At the end, I assign an overall rating, but this is just to guide me in my takeaway of where things stand.  It’s not scientifically rigorous or anything.

  • Positive - indicative of a healthy, growing economy.
  • Neutral - indicative of a slow or no growth economy but not a contracting (recession) economy.
  • Negative - indicative of a shrinking economy or recession.

(NOTE: For a “Quick ‘n Easy” read, just review the labeled white boxes, then skip to my “Easy Take” summary at the end.  You can review any charts/graphs afterward.  I want to make sure no one is intimidated by the length of my posts, even though I’m trying to making them easy …)


Quick Summary

Indicator (Click for details – only works if full article is open) Current Rating (change from previous roundup)
GDPNow (GDP Forecast from Atlanta Fed) Neutral
ADS Business Conditions Index Positive
Bloomberg Financial Conditions Index Positive
Daily Consumer Leading Indicators Negative
Citigroup Economic Surprise Index Neutral
Employment Trends Index Positive
Chicago Fed National Activity Index Neutral
Easynomics Real Estate Price Stability Index Positive
Easy Trends Dashboard   (min/max -3 to +3) +2.61 = Definitely moving in a positive direction, with hardly any unconfirmed trends or off-trend readings

NOTE: You may be reading an outdated analysis.  Please visit my latest economic indicators roundup.



Economic Indicator: GDPNow   |   NEUTRAL
Easy Intro: None yet   |   Link to Source   |   Latest Date This Info Represents: 3rd Quarter 2014 (i.e., end of September 2014)

Quick ‘n Easy

The Federal Reserve Board of Atlanta combines a whole bunch of public data to mimic what the government does when reporting Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is the broadest and most comprehensive measure of the economy that is widely accepted. It basically measures the value of all goods and services produced in the country, regardless of industry.  In a sense, that’s what economics is all about, the value of things. The rate at which GDP is growing tells us whether our economy is strong or not. Historically, the average has been about 3.3 percent per year. It would be great to see at least that rate of growth. The current forecast for growth in the 3rd quarter of 2014 is 2.8 percent – sluggish by historical standards.

GDPNow from Atlanta Fed - Aug 13 2014

Source: FRBAtlanta.org

Easy Description: GDPNow is a frequently updated estimate of the growth rate of the economy (GDP growth) as opposed to having to wait for quarterly estimates from the Bureau of Economic Analysis for “official” figures.

Latest Readings:

3rd Quarter of 2014: GDPNow is positive (+) 2.8 percent annualized growth rate (versus a reading of +2.8 percent on Aug 6)

NOTE: “Annualized growth rate” is how much growth we would see over a full year if economic growth continued at the same pace as it did in the latest quarter being forecast

Implications: The 1st quarter of 2014 saw a contraction (i.e., negative GDP growth) followed by a nice bounce back in the 2nd quarter, but not enough to put us on track for an overall solid 2014. The current forecast for 3rd quarter growth is only 2.8 percent, which suggests that 2014 will be another year of sluggish growth.

Additional Info: This is a new indicator, so my use of it here may evolve over time. I like it because it provides a very comprehensive and more timely update for overall economic growth.

Easynomics Rating Methodology: For this index, I will use data on the most recent quarter available. If the latest GDPNow estimate refers to a quarter for which there is already an official BEA reading, then I will go with the BEA reading. I will rate anything between zero and (+) 3.3 as “neutral” – anything above or below that will be rated “positive” or “negative” respectively.

continue reading…

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Economic Indicators Roundup (August 11, 2014)

Economic indicators are everywhere, so this is kind of like a dashboard that I like to follow.  For each indicator, I will try to give you a brief description, the latest reading and what I understand to be its implications.  For simplicity, I will assign each a rating of positive, neutral or negative.  For the economic indicators, I will denote in each one’s section how I decide which rating to give it.  At the end, I assign an overall rating, but this is just to guide me in my takeaway of where things stand.  It’s not scientifically rigorous or anything.

  • Positive - indicative of a healthy, growing economy.
  • Neutral - indicative of a slow or no growth economy but not a contracting (recession) economy.
  • Negative - indicative of a shrinking economy or recession.

(NOTE: For a “Quick ‘n Easy” read, just review the labeled white boxes, then skip to my “Easy Take” summary at the end.  You can review any charts/graphs afterward.  I want to make sure no one is intimidated by the length of my posts, even though I’m trying to making them easy …)


Quick Summary

Indicator (Click for details – only works if full article is open) Current Rating (change from previous roundup)
GDPNow (GDP Forecast from Atlanta Fed) Neutral   (Downgrade)
ADS Business Conditions Index Positive
Bloomberg Financial Conditions Index Positive
Daily Consumer Leading Indicators Negative
Citigroup Economic Surprise Index Neutral
Employment Trends Index Positive
Chicago Fed National Activity Index Neutral
Easynomics Real Estate Price Stability Index Positive
Easy Trends Dashboard   (min/max -3 to +3) +2.61 = Definitely moving in a positive direction, with hardly any unconfirmed trends or off-trend readings

NOTE: You may be reading an outdated analysis.  Please visit my latest economic indicators roundup.



Economic Indicator: GDPNow   |   NEUTRAL   (Downgrade)
Easy Intro: None yet   |   Link to Source   |   Latest Date This Info Represents: 3rd Quarter 2014 (i.e., end of September 2014)

Quick ‘n Easy

The Federal Reserve Board of Atlanta combines a whole bunch of public data to mimic what the government does when reporting Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is the broadest and most comprehensive measure of the economy that is widely accepted. It basically measures the value of all goods and services produced in the country, regardless of industry.  In a sense, that’s what economics is all about, the value of things. The rate at which GDP is growing tells us whether our economy is strong or not. Historically, the average has been about 3.3 percent per year. It would be great to see at least that rate of growth. The current forecast for growth in the 3rd quarter of 2014 is 2.8 percent – sluggish by historical standards.

GDPNow from Atlanta Fed - Aug 6 2014

Source: FRBAtlanta.org

Easy Description: GDPNow is a frequently updated estimate of the growth rate of the economy (GDP growth) as opposed to having to wait for quarterly estimates from the Bureau of Economic Analysis for “official” figures.

Latest Readings:

3rd Quarter of 2014: GDPNow is positive (+) 2.8 percent annualized growth rate (versus a reading of 2.6 percent on Aug 5)

NOTE: “Annualized growth rate” is how much growth we would see over a full year if economic growth continued at the same pace as it did in the latest quarter being forecast

Implications: The 1st quarter of 2014 saw a contraction (i.e., negative GDP growth) followed by a nice bounce back in the 2nd quarter, but not enough to put us on track for an overall solid 2014. The current forecast for 3rd quarter growth is only 2.8 percent, which suggests that 2014 will be another year of sluggish growth.

Additional Info: This is a very new indicator, so my use of it here may evolve over time. I like it because it provides a very comprehensive and more timely update for overall economic growth.

Easynomics Rating Methodology: For this index, I will use data on the most recent quarter available. If the latest GDPNow estimate refers to a quarter for which there is already an official BEA reading, then I will go with the BEA reading. I will rate anything between zero and (+) 3.3 as “neutral” – anything above or below that will be rated “positive” or “negative” respectively.

continue reading…

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Economic Indicators Roundup (August 4, 2014)

Economic indicators are everywhere, so this is kind of like a dashboard that I like to follow.  For each indicator, I will try to give you a brief description, the latest reading and what I understand to be its implications.  For simplicity, I will assign each a rating of positive, neutral or negative.  For the economic indicators, I will denote in each one’s section how I decide which rating to give it.  At the end, I assign an overall rating, but this is just to guide me in my takeaway of where things stand.  It’s not scientifically rigorous or anything.

  • Positive - indicative of a healthy, growing economy.
  • Neutral - indicative of a slow or no growth economy but not a contracting (recession) economy.
  • Negative - indicative of a shrinking economy or recession.

(NOTE: For a “Quick ‘n Easy” read, just review the labeled white boxes, then skip to my “Easy Take” summary at the end.  You can review any charts/graphs afterward.  I want to make sure no one is intimidated by the length of my posts, even though I’m trying to making them easy …)


Quick Summary

Indicator (Click for details – only works if full article is open) Current Rating (change from previous roundup)
GDPNow (GDP Forecast from Atlanta Fed) Positive
ADS Business Conditions Index Positive
Bloomberg Financial Conditions Index Positive
Daily Consumer Leading Indicators Negative
Citigroup Economic Surprise Index Neutral
Employment Trends Index Positive
Chicago Fed National Activity Index Neutral
Easynomics Real Estate Price Stability Index Positive
Easy Trends Dashboard   (min/max -3 to +3) +2.61 = Definitely moving in a positive direction, with hardly any unconfirmed trends or off-trend readings

NOTE: You may be reading an outdated analysis.  Please visit my latest economic indicators roundup.



Economic Indicator: GDPNow   |   POSITIVE
Easy Intro: None yet   |   Link to Source   |   Latest Date This Info Represents: 2nd Quarter 2014 (i.e., end of June 2014)

Quick ‘n Easy

The Federal Reserve Board of Atlanta combines a whole bunch of public data to mimic what the government does when reporting Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is the broadest and most comprehensive measure of the economy that is widely accepted. It basically measures the value of all goods and services produced in the country, regardless of industry.  In a sense, that’s what economics is all about, the value of things. The rate at which GDP is growing tells us whether our economy is strong or not. Historically, the average has been about 3.3 percent per year. It would be great to see at least that rate of growth.

GDPNow from Atlanta Fed - Jul 25 2014

Source: FRBAtlanta.org

Easy Description: GDPNow is a frequently updated estimate of the growth rate of the economy (GDP growth) as opposed to having to wait for quarterly estimates from the Bureau of Economic Analysis for “official” figures.

Latest Readings:

2nd Quarter of 2014: GDPNow is positive (+) 2.7 percent annualized growth rate (versus a reading of 2.7 percent on July 17), but official BEA figures report a positive (+) 4.0 percent annualized growth rate.

NOTE: “Annualized growth rate” is how much growth we would see over a full year if economic growth continued at the same pace as it did in the latest quarter being forecast

Implications: The 1st quarter of 2014 saw a contraction (i.e., negative GDP growth) of 2.1 percent annualized rate. Official numbers have already come out for the 2nd quarter – the “advance estimate” says there was 4.0 percent annualized rate of growth, which is obviously much better than the latest GDPNow estimate. Once an official number is available, that will take priority over the GDPNow estimate.

Additional Info: This is a very new indicator, so my use of it here may evolve over time. I like it because it provides a very comprehensive and more timely update for overall economic growth.

Easynomics Rating Methodology: For this index, I will use data on the most recent quarter available. If the latest GDPNow estimate refers to a quarter for which there is already an official BEA reading, then I will go with the BEA reading. I will rate anything between zero and (+) 3.3 as “neutral” – anything above or below that will be rated “positive” or “negative” respectively.

continue reading…

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Economic Indicators Roundup (July 21, 2014)

Economic indicators are everywhere, so this is kind of like a dashboard that I like to follow.  For each indicator, I will try to give you a brief description, the latest reading and what I understand to be its implications.  For simplicity, I will assign each a rating of positive, neutral or negative.  For the economic indicators, I will denote in each one’s section how I decide which rating to give it.  At the end, I assign an overall rating, but this is just to guide me in my takeaway of where things stand.  It’s not scientifically rigorous or anything.

  • Positive - indicative of a healthy, growing economy.
  • Neutral - indicative of a slow or no growth economy but not a contracting (recession) economy.
  • Negative - indicative of a shrinking economy or recession.

(NOTE: For a “Quick ‘n Easy” read, just review the labeled white boxes, then skip to my “Easy Take” summary at the end.  You can review any charts/graphs afterward.  I want to make sure no one is intimidated by the length of my posts, even though I’m trying to making them easy …)


Quick Summary

Indicator (Click for details – only works if full article is open) Current Rating (change from previous roundup)
ADS Business Conditions Index Positive
Bloomberg Financial Conditions Index Positive
Daily Consumer Leading Indicators Negative
Citigroup Economic Surprise Index Neutral
Employment Trends Index Positive
Chicago Fed National Activity Index Neutral
Easynomics Real Estate Price Stability Index Positive
Easy Trends Dashboard   (min/max -3 to +3) +2.67 = Definitely moving in a positive direction, with hardly any unconfirmed trends or off-trend readings

NOTE: You may be reading an outdated analysis.  Please visit my latest economic indicators roundup.



Economic Indicator: ADS Business Conditions Index   |   POSITIVE
Easy Intro to ADS Business Conditions Index   |   Link to Source   |   Latest Date This Info Represents: July 12, 2014

Quick ‘n Easy

A combination of several key indicators of business conditions suggests, with high confidence, that at the end of March 2014 (most recent date for which there is data for all components of the index), conditions were above average (+0.311).  As of about a week and a half ago, it suggested, with low confidence, that current conditions were slightly above average (+0.173), historically speaking.  The index suggests that economic activity took a temporary dive in late 2013 before bouncing back quickly to levels slightly above historical averages.

Economic Indicators - ADS Business Conditions Index Jul 12 2014

Source: PhiladelphiaFed.org

Easy Description: Combines several indicators together to describe current business conditions.  A value above zero means that conditions are better than average, but below zero means worse than average.

Latest Readings:

July 12, 2014: Positive (+) 0.173 (includes weekly unemployment figures and maybe one other indicator)

One month prior: Positive (+) 0.165
One quarter prior: Positive (+) 0.197

The most recent date for which there is data for all components of the index is end of March 2014, when conditions were above average (+0.311).

Implications: After conditions took a hit starting mid-November 2013, we never went into a recession-type shrinking phase, and conditions quickly bounced back up to above average levels. Preliminary data suggests that conditions have been hovering around slightly-above-average levels.

Additional Info: This index provides confident readings about the past when all of the indicators have been collected (everything to the left of the left-most vertical line).  The readings in between the two vertical lines are somewhat less confident because they include some, but not all, of the indicators.  And the latest reading always falls to the right of the right-most vertical line and includes only a couple of indicators.

Easynomics Rating Methodology: For this index, I will use the very latest reading and rate anything between zero and minus (-) 1.00 as “neutral” – anything above or below that will be rated “positive” or “negative” respectively.

continue reading…

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Economic Indicators Roundup (July 14, 2014)

Economic indicators are everywhere, so this is kind of like a dashboard that I like to follow.  For each indicator, I will try to give you a brief description, the latest reading and what I understand to be its implications.  For simplicity, I will assign each a rating of positive, neutral or negative.  For the economic indicators, I will denote in each one’s section how I decide which rating to give it.  At the end, I assign an overall rating, but this is just to guide me in my takeaway of where things stand.  It’s not scientifically rigorous or anything.

  • Positive - indicative of a healthy, growing economy.
  • Neutral - indicative of a slow or no growth economy but not a contracting (recession) economy.
  • Negative - indicative of a shrinking economy or recession.

(NOTE: For a “Quick ‘n Easy” read, just review the labeled white boxes, then skip to my “Easy Take” summary at the end.  You can review any charts/graphs afterward.  I want to make sure no one is intimidated by the length of my posts, even though I’m trying to making them easy …)


Quick Summary

Indicator (Click for details – only works if full article is open) Current Rating (change from previous roundup)
ADS Business Conditions Index Positive
Bloomberg Financial Conditions Index Positive
Daily Consumer Leading Indicators Negative
Citigroup Economic Surprise Index Neutral
Employment Trends Index Positive
Chicago Fed National Activity Index Neutral
Easynomics Real Estate Price Stability Index Positive
Easy Trends Dashboard   (min/max -3 to +3) +2.67 = Definitely moving in a positive direction, with hardly any unconfirmed trends or off-trend readings

NOTE: You may be reading an outdated analysis.  Please visit my latest economic indicators roundup.



Economic Indicator: ADS Business Conditions Index   |   POSITIVE
Easy Intro to ADS Business Conditions Index   |   Link to Source   |   Latest Date This Info Represents: July 5, 2014

Quick ‘n Easy

A combination of several key indicators of business conditions suggests, with high confidence, that at the end of March 2014 (most recent date for which there is data for all components of the index), conditions were slightly above average (+0.217).  As of about a week and a half ago, it suggested, with low confidence, that current conditions were slightly above average (+0.250), historically speaking.  The index suggests that economic activity took a temporary dive in late 2013 before bouncing back quickly to levels slightly above historical averages.

Economic Indicators - ADS Business Conditions Index Jul 5 2014

Source: PhiladelphiaFed.org

Easy Description: Combines several indicators together to describe current business conditions.  A value above zero means that conditions are better than average, but below zero means worse than average.

Latest Readings:

July 5, 2014: Positive (+) 0.250 (includes weekly unemployment figures and maybe one other indicator)

One month prior: Positive (+) 0.225
One quarter prior: Positive (+) 0.154

The most recent date for which there is data for all components of the index is end of March 2014, when conditions were slightly above average (+0.217).

Implications: After conditions took a hit starting mid-November 2013, we never went into a recession-type shrinking phase, and conditions quickly bounced back up to above average levels. Preliminary data suggests that conditions have been hovering around slightly-above-average levels.

Additional Info: This index provides confident readings about the past when all of the indicators have been collected (everything to the left of the left-most vertical line).  The readings in between the two vertical lines are somewhat less confident because they include some, but not all, of the indicators.  And the latest reading always falls to the right of the right-most vertical line and includes only a couple of indicators.

Easynomics Rating Methodology: For this index, I will use the very latest reading and rate anything between zero and minus (-) 1.00 as “neutral” – anything above or below that will be rated “positive” or “negative” respectively.

continue reading…

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Economic Indicators Roundup – Abridged Version (July 7, 2014)

Economic indicators are everywhere, so this is kind of like a dashboard that I like to follow. For simplicity, I will assign each a rating of positive, neutral or negative. At the end, I assign an overall rating, but this is just to guide me in my takeaway of where things stand.  It’s not scientifically rigorous or anything.

  • Positive - indicative of a healthy, growing economy.
  • Neutral - indicative of a slow or no growth economy but not a contracting (recession) economy.
  • Negative - indicative of a shrinking economy or recession.

Quick Summary

Indicator (Click for details – only works if full article is open) Current Rating (change from previous roundup)
ADS Business Conditions Index Positive
Bloomberg Financial Conditions Index Positive
Daily Consumer Leading Indicators Negative
Citigroup Economic Surprise Index Neutral
Employment Trends Index Positive   (June index to be released later this morning – should be “positive”)
Chicago Fed National Activity Index Neutral
Easynomics Real Estate Price Stability Index Positive
Easy Trends Dashboard   (min/max -3 to +3) +2.67 = Definitely moving in a positive direction, with hardly any unconfirmed trends or off-trend readings

NOTE: You may be reading an outdated analysis.  Please visit my latest economic indicators roundup.


Easy Trends Dashboard

Updated: July 3, 2014
Consensus Score: +2.67   (vs +2.67 one week ago)
Interpretation:  Definitely moving in a positive direction, with hardly any unconfirmed trends or off-trend readings

Indicator Trend Score* (change from last roundup)
Employment Report +3
Existing Homes Sales and Inventory Months of Supply +3
Factory Orders +3
GDP +2
Industrial Production +3
New Residential Homes Sales and Inventory Months of Supply +2
Personal Income Levels +3
Residential Investment +2
Unemployment Claims +3

*Trend Score Definitions:

  • Confirmed trend with no recent readings that are off trend: +3 (good direction) or -3 (bad direction)
    • For each consecutive recent reading that was off trend in the opposite direction, I move the score by one point in the direction of zero
  • Unconfirmed trend: +1 (good direction) or -1 (bad direction)
  • No trend that has at least 50 percent confidence: 0

Easy Take

No ratings changed over the last week, assuming that the Employment Trends Index released this morning remains strong. The overall consensus thus remains “positive” again.

The Easy Trends Dashboard is still in outstanding shape, same as last week after a very strong jobs report last week.  The overall average for the trends dashboard suggests that indicators I follow are definitely headed in the right direction.

We currently have 4 positive, 2 neutral and 1 negative economic indicators.  Using a scale of positive=3, neutral=2 and negative=1, this yields an average rating of 2.43 out of 3.00 (versus 2.43 one week ago), which falls in the upper third of the possible range.  In other words, my set of economic indicators combine into a “positive” rating.  The consensus view of the above indicators is that economic conditions are consistent with positive growth at or above the historical average rate.  Trends suggest that indicators are definitely headed in a good direction.

Disclaimer: My dashboard isn’t really a group of similar indicators, so we can’t say that it represents any one particular thing.  For example, it’s not geared strictly toward predicting the future of the economy like a leading indicators dashboard.  It’s not like a coincident indicator dashboard that focuses on how things are right this second.  It’s just a bunch of things I like to follow, interpreted in a way to be consistent with either economic growth or shrinkage.  I would just guess that if the indicators I most like to follow start trending one way or the other, there is a good chance the economy is going that way, too.

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