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A Framework That Provides Clarity

During periods of “low visibility,” confusion reigns: for every indication of one trend, there seems to be a countertrend. The key is to glean from the collective wisdom of reliable leading indicators a clear signal that the economy is headed for a turn.

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Market Optimism and the Hard Data


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Lakshman Achuthan recently spoke with CNBC about ECRI’s description of the U.S. slowdown including hard data on business and consumer activity.

The risk-on rally is predicated on a reacceleration in growth starting within a couple of months.

But, aside from risk asset pricing there’s little objective evidence in the hard data to support that view. Charting the basic hard data for industry and the consumer – the heart of the real economy – shows that growth turned down in late summer/early fall, and isn’t really recovering.



Specifically, industrial production growth in manufacturing is falling, and is already at a two-year low. And real retail sales growth hasn’t been this low anytime in the last two years, with the exception of the last three months, which included its worst reading since 2009.  
 
We will continue to rely on our leading indexes to help manage the risk of the next cyclical turn.

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