Turning Points & Leading Indicators

The ECRI Difference

Our indicator systems are designed to predict the timing of future changes in the economy's direction. They signal those turns before the fact, and well before the consensus. ECRI's focus is on identifying when those changes in direction will occur.

Leading Indexes can Time Turns

While we do not make “market calls,” our exemplary real-time record of calling cycle turning points in economic growth and inflation has helped our clients consistently outperform their peers.

We are not economists, and do not rely on back-fitted econometric models. In contrast, most economists rely on models that try to predict the near future based on what has happened in the recent past. This can work for a while – until the critical moment when a turning point approaches and such models reliably fail. This is because extrapolating from the recent past is a sure-fire recipe for being surprised by the next turn.

Furthermore, our solid grasp of where we are in any given cycle let’s us strip out the cyclical component, leaving behind what is structural. This provides us with timely insights into structural changes.

Monitoring the Business Cycle

A century-long tradition of business cycle research gives ECRI a singular perspective on the ebb and flow of the economy, even in the face of unexpected shocks. Our approach is informed by the fundamental drivers of economic cycles. It is an approach pioneered by ECRI's co-founder, Geoffrey H. Moore, and his mentors, Wesley C. Mitchell and Arthur F. Burns.

In 1950, Moore built on his mentors' findings to develop the first leading indicators of both revival and recession. In the 1960s he developed the original index of leading economic indicators (LEI). It is a testament to the quality of that breakthrough that, nearly half a century later, many still believe the LEI and its variants to be the best tools for cycle forecasting.

However, building on that foundation, by the late 1990s ECRI had developed a far more sophisticated framework for analyzing international economic cycles that remains at the cutting edge of business cycle research and forecasting.

Our Track Record

ECRI Services

Highlights of ECRI's calls.

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I find that ECRI's historical knowledge of economic cycles and data is almost as important to me as your indicators of future cycles.
- ECRI Client
No one speaks with more authority about the economy's turning points.
- Fortune Magazine
As an investment strategist, I need to navigate the many twists and turns in the emerging economic landscape with as much foresight as possible to know when to take or avoid risk. In this quest, ECRI's array of leading indices, specifically designed to predict and navigate economic turning points, have been an indispensible tool.
- ECRI Client
[T]he Economic Cycle Research Institute [is] a private forecasting group with an excellent track record.
- The New York Times
In March [2009], the month the market scraped bottom, ECRI went forth with [a] tablepounding historical observation-. The implication could not have been clearer that a market rally, when it started, would be no sucker's affair but the real McCoy.
- Grant's Interest Rate Observer
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 Services

The clarity and conviction to break from the crowd at the right time.

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