Business Cycle Indicators as of Mid-April

Key indicators noted by NBER BCDC, including Friday release of industrial production for March – continuing upward progress.

Figure 1: Nonfarm payroll employment (dark blue), Bloomberg consensus for April NFP (blue +), industrial production (red), personal income excluding transfers in Ch.2012$ (green), manufacturing and trade sales in Ch.2012$ (black), consumption in Ch.2012$ (light blue), and monthly GDP in Ch.2012$ (pink), all log normalized to 2020M02=0. NBER defined recession dates, peak-to-trough, shaded gray. Source: BLS, Federal Reserve, BEA, via FRED, IHS Markit (nee Macroeconomic Advisers) (4/1/2022 release), NBER, and author’s calculations.


7 thoughts on “Business Cycle Indicators as of Mid-April

  1. rjs

    fwiw, i took the retail sales data from March, and adjusted it with the CPI indices for core goods, food at home, food services, and gasoline (for gas station sales) and estimated that the income and outlays report for March would show that real personal consumption of goods fell by around 1.2% in March, after falling by a revised 1.5% in February but after rising by a revised 5.8% in January…at the same time, the resulting 0.7% increase in real sales at bars and restaurants would boost March real personal consumption of services by about half a percent…

    the February income and outlays report gave the change in real PCE goods for the 4th quarter months as up 1.4% in October, down 0.3% in November, and down 4.2% in December…setting October with an index value of 100.00, we thus get Nov = 99.70, Dec = 95.51, Jan = 101.05, Feb = 100.07, and March = 98.87…hence, to estimate the growth rate of 1st quarter PCE goods, we have this calculation (((101.05 + 100.07+ 98.87) / 3) / ((100.00+ 99.70+ 95.51)/ 3)) ^ 4 = 1.06636…that suggests that PCE goods rose at about a 6.64% annual rate in the 1st quarter…since PCE goods has usually been around 23% of GDP, that means the contribution of PCE goods to first quarter GDP should be around 1.53 percentage points… (source Census Bureau, BLS, BEA and author’s calculations)

    1. rjs

      ok, the last part of the first paragraph above should read “the 0.7% increase in real sales at bars and restaurants would boost March real personal consumption of services by about half of 0.1%….obviously, a 0.7% increase in one component is not going to boost the aggregate by 0.5%..

  2. Moses Herzog

    Most of these numbers seem to be happy news, even if they’re in for another speedbump soon. Take your good news where you can get it, aye??

  3. Moses Herzog

    I thought the “motor vehicle assemblies” number was reason for some small optimism. Not to be overly technical with one of macroeconomics’ more complex terms, I suppose this is a “blip” (not the more extended type “blips” we see in the soybean market~~see what I did there??)

    Come on people, every degenerate has to channel his inner “blip”. Work with me here people.

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