Tag Archives: American Institute of Architects


UPDATE JANUARY 11, 2024 – The latest Bloomberg survey of economists shows 50% of them expect a recession this year. Based on the stock market being at all-time highs, it is saying there is zero chance of a recession in the next 6 months. I won’t use 0% in my forecasts. But, as part of my goal to provide precise measurable forecasts, I will say there is a 1% chance of a recession (Two consecutive negative GDP quarters) occurring in the first half of 2024. As the odds of the 2nd Quarter being negative are low, I place a chance of a recession starting by the end of the 3rd Quarter (would require negative GDP in 2nd and 3rd Quarters) at 5%. I just as well place a percentage on a recession occurring in 2024 as a whole. My estimate is that is only about 10% at this time. There is no doubt GDP growth in 2024 will be lower than 2023. But, that does not mean we will have a recession. We have had very strong economic growth for 6 quarters since the early 2022 recession ended. I will update these percentages as new information warrants such.

DECEMBER 19, 2023 – With so many recession indicators being wrong over the past 2 years, I thought it would be good to compile a list. Although they have failed, this doesn’t mean that in 20 years we won’t look back and say this indicator has predicted 4 of the last 5 recessions. But, for now, these indicators have simply been wrong. I will continue to update this list as I encounter such (erroneous) indicators. Many of these I have never followed or heard of. But, as I am made aware of them predicting a recession that hasn’t, and isn’t, going to occur, I will add them to this list.
1. The (Mis)Leading Economic Indicator turned negative in early 2022 and been consistently forecasting a recession for over 18+ months.
2. M-2 Money Supply is the most negative it has been since The Great Depression.
3. Inverted Yield Curve – The yield curve turned negative in July 2022. It forecasts a recession 11-13 months from that event – which was June to August 2023. This indicator had been a perfect 8-for-8 since WWII. Make that 8 out of 9 now.
4. Empire State Manufacturing Backlogs – The last two readings have been -23.2% and -24%. The only two times this has occurred was in 2001 and The Great Recession. It is doubtful the current decline will coincide with a recession.

5. The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index has been below 75 for 29 consecutive months. That has surpassed the prior record from February 2008 to May 2010.

6. The National Association of Credit Management’s (NACM) Credit Manager’s Index (CMI) registered 54.6 and 54.2 in the 3rd and 4th Quarters of 2023, respectively. It did not fall below 55 during the 2010’s expansion and the last time it fell below 55 for two consecutive quarters was in 2008 (this excludes the spike low in the pandemic).

7. The American Institute of Architects Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has dropped to 44.8. Previous drops below 45 signaled a recession in 2001’s first quarter and 2008’s first quarter. HOWEVER, Architects have a lead time of 9-12 months on commercial building activity. Thus, this indicator might be signaling a recession at the very end of 2024 and into 2025 – which I have mentioned in prior posts as a possibility. Especially, since that occurs after the Presidential Election. So, I might move this indicator from this list to the small list of indicators that are still accurate in predicting recessions. But, I wanted to place it here in the interim so you could be aware of what it is saying.

8. Wholesale Sales excluding Autos and Oil turned negative (-2.8% YOY) in 2023. Besides the Pandemic, this indicator coincided with recessions in 2001 and 2007-2009. It also was negative in 2015-2016, which was termed an industrial recession.

9. Banks Reporting Stronger Demand for C&I Loans bottomed at around -60% at the end of the recessions in 2001 and 2007-2009. It bottomed at -54.5% in the 2nd Quarter of 2023 (one year after the recession I say occurred in the first half of 2022). At any rate, no recession occurred in 2023 and one is highly unlikely in 2024. The index has rebounded to -23.7% in the First Quarter of 2024. Still weak. But, improving.