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Tracking the Current Recession

Summary:
Paweł Skrzypczyński has taken on the task of tracking what he calls the Covid-19 recession as the data come out: So stay tuned to this site as the data roll in. (Note: the NBER Business Cycle Dating Committee has not yet declared a peak in economic activity, and is unlikely to do so for some time.) Here’s my tracking of just 5 indicators from a few days ago (none of these series have been updated since): Figure 1: Nonfarm payroll employment (blue), industrial production (red), personal income excluding transfers in Ch.2012$ (green), manufacturing and trade sales in Ch.2012$ (black), and monthly GDP in Ch.2012$ (pink), all log normalized to 2019M01=0.  Manufacturing and trade sales for February assumed to be at stochastic trend for 2018-2020M01. Source: BLS, Federal Reserve, BEA, via

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Paweł Skrzypczyński has taken on the task of tracking what he calls the Covid-19 recession as the data come out:

Tracking the Current Recession

So stay tuned to this site as the data roll in. (Note: the NBER Business Cycle Dating Committee has not yet declared a peak in economic activity, and is unlikely to do so for some time.)

Here’s my tracking of just 5 indicators from a few days ago (none of these series have been updated since):

Tracking the Current Recession

Figure 1: Nonfarm payroll employment (blue), industrial production (red), personal income excluding transfers in Ch.2012$ (green), manufacturing and trade sales in Ch.2012$ (black), and monthly GDP in Ch.2012$ (pink), all log normalized to 2019M01=0.  Manufacturing and trade sales for February assumed to be at stochastic trend for 2018-2020M01. Source: BLS, Federal Reserve, BEA, via FRED, Macroeconomic Advisers (3/26 release), and author’s calculations.

More high frequency data are used in generating the forecast discussed in this post.

As of today, the Atlanta Fed GDPNow nowcast for Q1 is 1% SAAR, the NY Fed 1.5% SAAR. IHS MarkIt (formerly Macroeconomic Advisers) is at -3.7% SAAR (note this last nowcast uses judgment, while the first two use purely historical correlations to nowcast.)

Menzie Chinn
He is Professor of Public Affairs and Economics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison

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