Yes, some people have predicted twenty of the last three recessions. But CNBC has a long list of warning signs:
Perhaps the most talked about recession indicator is the inverted yield curve.
Amid falling interest rates in the broader U.S. bond market, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note has fallen below the 2-year yield several times since Aug. 14. In a healthy market, long-term bonds carry a higher interest rate than short-term bonds. When short-term bonds deliver a higher yield, it’s a called an inversion of the yield curve. The bond market phenomenon is historically a trusty signal of an eventual recession: It has preceded the seven last recessions. A recession occurs about 22 months after an inversion on average, according to Credit Suisse.
Gross domestic product in the U.S. is slowing. The economy expanded by 2% in the second quarter, the Commerce Department said in its second reading of GDP on Thursday.
Two percent is the lowest growth rate since the fourth quarter of 2018 and down from 3% growth in the first three months of this year.
U.S. manufacturer growth slowed to the lowest level in almost 10 years in August. The U.S. manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers’ index) was 49.9 in August, down from 50.4 in July.
The reading is below the neutral 50.0 threshold for the first time since September 2009, according to IHS Markit. Any reading below 50 signals a contraction.
Because Donald Trump lives rent-free in our heads now, most people are wondering about whether the recession will start in time to sink his already shaky re-election chances. But I’m wondering how it will affect politics on this side of the border.
A recession will not start in time for the next federal election, but there’s a good chance we’ll be in one not long afterward. And, fairly or not, whoever’s in charge will take the blame for it.
In other words, whoever wins the federal election in 2019 may come to regret it in 2023. Or sooner, if – as looks increasingly likely – we have a minority government.