The Leading Predictor of Recessions and Recoveries
We are students of the business cycle - the most powerful force in market-oriented economies.
We are not “economists.”
Unlike mainstream economists, who base their forecasts on econometric models, we have developed a robust leading indicator approach which is unrivaled in accurately calling turning points in economic growth and inflation worldwide.
Our track record of making turning point calls is unrivaled.
Our research, spanning three generations, has uncovered reliable sequences of events that occur around turning points in economic growth, inflation, and employment. By using this knowledge, we regularly pinpoint when the cycle will turn, even when some believe “this time it's different.”
Legendary investor Sir John Templeton said that the four most expensive words in the English language are: “this time it's different.” ECRI's research is focused on stable cyclical patterns that have prevailed for more than a century, including both the “Great Moderation” and the Great Recession.
A Trusted Advisor
Our ability to call the economy's turning points has made ECRI a trusted advisor of Fortune 500 companies, major asset managers, and government agencies on all six continents.
We help our members manage cyclical risk - in effect, boosting their risk-adjusted returns.
Cyclical risk rises and falls over the course of the business cycle. We alert our members to directional shifts in the cycle so they can better time critical decisions - whether they involve asset management, hiring, production and pricing, or monetary policy.
Forewarned is forearmed: members avoid being blindsided by cycle turns.
For example, in April 2009, when global headlines warned about a “coming depression,” ECRI accurately predicted the U.S. recession would end by summer. We were right and gave our members the clarity and conviction needed to go against the crowd when virtually everyone was looking the other way; to their ultimate detriment and our members' ultimate gain.
A Tradition of Public Service
In the 1960s, ECRI's co-founder, Geoffrey H. Moore, whom The Wall Street Journal called “the father of leading indicators,” gave his original Index of Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) to the U.S. government. The state-of-art successor to the LEI is ECRI's Weekly Leading Index (WLI).
Before there was a committee to determine U.S. business cycle dates, Moore decided all those dates on the NBER's behalf from 1949 to 1978, and then served as the committee's senior member until he passed away in 2000. Using the same approach, ECRI has long determined recession start and end dates for 20 other countries that are widely accepted by academics and major central banks as the definitive international business cycle chronologies. These chronologies have always been publicly available.
Our Track Record
Highlights of ECRI's calls.
(ECRI’s) forecast of the [Great] recession helped us anticipate reduced merchandise sales; we proactively revised our inventory forecasts down months ago, and that has helped to greatly minimize the inventory swell and need for markdowns.
ECRI has had a very stellar record. They've been making pretty bold calls and going against the conventional wisdom. So far their record has been one of the most impressive, and has been written up in the press as well as talked about in policy circles.
ECRI is perhaps the only organisation to give advance warning of each of the past three recessions; just as impressive, it has never issued a false alarm.
ECRI can justify a certain smugness now that business cycles are back in fashion. The institute called the last two recessions and the current recovery months ahead of the pack.
In the opinion littered world of economic forecasting, ECRI is Mr. Spock – deeply analytical, dispassionate, and accurate.
Over the last 15 years, [ECRI] has gotten all of its recession calls right, while issuing no false alarms.
The clarity and conviction to break from the crowd at the right time.