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"Medium" leading index points to 12 months of decline.

 I have three US leading indices.  A "short" one, which leads by 3 months, but sometimes by a bit more.  A "long" one, which leads by 18-24 months, giving you long advance warning of recessions.  And a--for want of a better word--"medium" leading index, which leads the business cycle by ±12 months.  In the chart below, this-"medium" leading index is plotted with a 12-month lag against my US QCI, which is a monthly proxy for quarterly GDP.   (It's not a perfect fit with GDP, but the fit is surprisingly close.    The QCI is an unweighted average of industrial production, retail sales volume, and payrolls employment.)  Relative to trend,  the QCI/GDP has prolly peaked.

The leading index is distorted by the Fed's change in regulations about interest-bearing accounts, which affected the measurement of money supply.  The rise in the leading index in 2021 is therefore prolly overstated.

So far, the "medium"-leading index suggests a downturn, but not a deep one.  But if you reduce the peak in the leading index for the distorted money supply data, the low is the leading index must also be reduced.  I'm doing a bit of research on the money supply data, and also on the leading index if we leave out money supply. [Update: 19/10/22 See updated chart here]

As usual, data have been extreme-adjusted by the Bureau of Census's algorithm (my program)




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