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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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Apr 03 2014

Japanese Consumer Spending Outlook

In February, Japanese consumer spending growth dropped, in part because of snowstorms that battered the country. However, with consumers subsequently stocking up ahead of the April sales tax hike, it is likely that consumer spending growth bounced back in March.

With the tax hike now implemented, it is important to determine what will happen to consumer spending growth not only in April, but in the months and quarters ahead. For this reason, we examine the recent cyclical moves in the growth rate of ECRI’s Japanese Short Leading Index (JASLI), which typically leads cyclical turning points in Japanese consumer spending growth. Fortunately, the JASLI already shows unambiguously where consumer spending growth is headed.

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Price Signals of Global Slack

ECRI March 14, 2014

World trade price growth has seen almost continuous deflation since early 2012, and its renewed weakness suggests even more slack in the global economy. More