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.
JANUARY 2, 2023 – Happy New Year! I hope the year is good for all.
As we start 2023, the housing market is solidly in Step 4. That is when all of the cars on the rollercoaster are speeding downward together. Prices are declining and accelerating the pace of their decline.
Step 5 will be when the decline starts to slow down. e.g. annual price declines might go -8.0%, -10.0%, -11.0%, -11.5%. I expect some-to-many markets will start to see this in the 2nd Quarter.
Step 6 is when the lead cars on the rollercoaster reach bottom and start to turn up. Just the opposite of last Spring when the rollercoaster reached the top and the lead cars started downward. At this point, you have some markets still accelerating in their annual price decline and others level at their price decline level, and some where the price decline starts to head back upward towards 0%. I can see this happening in the 3rd Quarter with a slight chance it might even start towards the end of the 2nd Quarter. Readings go -9.0, -10.0, -10.0, -9.0.
The question right now is can Step 7 occur by yearend. I think there is a chance it can. In this Step the rollercoaster will be heading back upward towards say Ground Level (i.e. 0% price change in past year). There will still be many markets with negative price changes. Others will be back to near level and some will actually have positive price change readings. I would say right now no one is expecting any markets to have price appreciation this year. I think there is a chance for such to occur in the 4th Quarter in a few markets. About the same odds as last Spring when I thought full blown price declines could occur by Yearend 2022.
As always, we shall see how things play out. I will try to remember to update my forecast mid-year.
Always glad to hear your thoughts.
OCTOBER 16, 2022 – First, a moment of silence for Marie Antoinette who was beheaded on this day in history. Would it be appropriate, or not, to honor her by having a piece of cake….but, I already digress:)
I have never tried to forecast inflation. I have probably made a forecast on most everything. Just not the CPI.
But, as it is just numbers. And I LOVE numbers. I figure what the heck.
After doing my analysis by hand (as always…I am not into spreadsheets and so on….the old-fashion way works best for me), my forecast is for annual CPI to end 2022 below 8%. For a range, I say 7.6% to 7.8%.
I am looking at below 7% (say 6.7%) at the end of the first quarter in 2023. And below 6% (say 5.9%) at the end of the second quarter in 2023. After doing my research, I have to say it is insane to try to forecast inflation more than a quarter out.
I guaranty that I have not looked at anyone else’s forecasts. I don’t know if anyone forecasts inflation rates 3-9 months out. So, pure coincidence if you have seen anything that is around my numbers above.
Also, those numbers will do nothing to keep the Fed from raising rates by 75bp two more times. Please remember, as I have posted here forever, the MARKET will tell you how much rates are going up. The Fed has FOLLOWED the market 100% of the time. The Fed never makes the decision. The market tells the Fed what to do and when.
Hold on….did you feel that….I bet you did….my outdoor thermometer just went from 72.6 degrees to 72.4 degrees. Wow, the climate changed!
Ooops, I did it again (hats off to you Britney)…I digressed again.
My last note is regarding our ONGOING recession. ((Someone please tell Jamie Dimon, who said we might enter a recession next year, that we have been in a recession ALL YEAR!)) With the stock market hitting new lows recently, the current economic downturn is now forecast to extend thru the 1st Quarter of 2023. Additional lows in the stock market will continue to push that date out.
Oh, one other last note. The US Dollar either has, or will within the next few weeks to a month, put in a MAJOR top. I don’t know how a weaker dollar plays into your world. But, something for you to consider.
And that gets me all caught up on all my forecasts. The inflation one won’t be near as easy as the housing one was in June. Some forecasts are easy. Some are difficult.
We shall see how the above turns out.