Here’s industrial production (Fed, Miron-Romer) index during the 1920-21 recession, as reader Steven Kopits thinks this is the template for a conjectured current ongoing recession (or incipient – the conjecture keeps on changing).
Figure 1: Industrial produciton from Federal Reserve (blue), and from Miron-Romer (tan), both in logs normalized to 1919M01=0. NBER peak-to-trough recession dates shaded gray. Red dashed lines at beginning, end of Flu Epidemic. Source: Federal Reserve via FRED, Miron-Romer, NBER, and author’s calculations.
Notice that industrial production declined through the recession of 1920-21. Can we compare to the experience since 2021M11 (peak in official GDP was 2021Q4)? Why, yes we can! Here’s the evolution of the Fed series in both cases.
Figure 2: Industrial production log normalized to 1920M01=0 (tan), and to 2021M11 (blue). Dates indicate months since NBER peak or hypothesized NBER peak. Source: Federal Reserve via FRED, NBER, and author’s calculations.
To me, this indicates that the similarity here between 1920-21 and 2021-22 is not there.