Soft Landing?

I’ve wondered about what a “soft landing” entails, and whether we are are headed toward one (see discussion of diverging forecasts, in current issue of the Economist) This is despite findings that, based on historical correlations, just about any term spread based regression will predict a recession by around mid-2024.

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What Is CoRev Smoking this Holiday Season?

Innumerate CoRev writes:

“[I am] Just smiling at the idiocy and cognitive dissonance of the renewables zealots. …EV purchases dropping…coal use rising”

Like innumerable things CoRev writes, this seemed wrong, so I looked up US DoE EIA data, and downloaded this:

Figure 1: US coal consumption (light blue), seasonally adjusted by author (dark blue), all in thousands of tons. NBER defined peak-to-trough recession dates shaded gray. Source: EIA, NBER, and author’s calculations.

Coal consumption looks like it’s declining to me, unless one is looking at a very short horizon.

As for EV sales, they look like they’re rising to me:

Source: Gearino, InsideClimate, Oct 26, 2023.

Now, it may be that CoRev has access to super-secret alternative series that tell a different story than the EIA series (or it may be a plot by the Deep State’s statistical minions). And he might also know that Cox Automotive has been infiltrated by said Deep State agents, so those numbers are not to be believed. I am afraid I don’t have time to investigate these possibilities.

I leave it to readers to dissect CoRev’s other errors in his comment. My main point – do not take as given assertions by (1) individuals who have no idea how to conduct time series analysis (let alone apparently read a graph), and (2) those who go about accusing others of manipulating data without understanding where the data are coming from.  For a compendium of CoRev-related cautionary tales I give my policy analysis/stats students, see here (or if you just want to laugh and laugh and laugh).