JANUARY 26, 2023 – Say you saw the following list of data points: +2.3, +6.9, -1.6, -0.6, +3.2, +2.8, +0.4, +0.3, +0.2, +0.1. To be upfront, the first 6 numbers are actual and the last 4 are future estimates.
Assuming positive is good and negative is bad, when would you say the bad event occurred? Did it occur just once? Or do you see data showing multiple bad events?
To me, the bad event occurred when the data was -1.6 and -0.6. It does not occur anywhere else. Albeit, the last four numbers aren’t anything to cheer about on the good side.
I keep saying – the Recession occurred in the first half of 2022 – and asking – why is everyone saying 2023 will see a Recession?
As for the last four numbers, I have seen estimates of GDP growth around 1.0% for 2023 with the latter half of the year being the weakest. Again, it is likely there will not be two consecutive quarters of negative GDP (the definition of a Recession….like it or not….I have never been a fan….what if we had -0.5, +0.1, -0.7? technically not a Recession…but, to me, that looks like a Recession…anyway, we have had this definition for decades).
If I could define Recession using GDP only it would be 2 or 3 consecutive quarters where the sum is negative. But, no one asked me:)
Lastly, the favorite service I subscribe to is forecasting a -1.6% GDP in the 1st Quarter of 2023. That would be a significant decline. The argument is over half of the 4th Quarter’s 2.8% increase was due to increasing inventories and that will be fully reversed in the 1st Quarter.
I haven’t even tried to figure out how to forecast GDP. Forecasting CPI was a big enough challenge. For now, I will leave GDP forecasting to others.