There’s a lengthy and informative commentary by ECRI’s Lakshman Achuthan at The Big Picture. For some reason or other it doesn’t show up when I go through TBP’s regular user interface but it’s hosted there all right. The commentary outlines the reasons that Achuthan’s organization has been calling a recession by the end of the year, why it continues to do so, and why he thinks we’re already in recession:
In our experience, too, monitoring business cycles is often humbling.
In March 2001, 95% of economists thought there would not be a recession, but one had already begun. And we do not recall anyone outside our shop predicting the 1990-91 recession beforehand.
Hardly any economists recognized the severe 1973-75 recession until almost a year after it started. Indeed, that recession began with the ISM at 68.1, and payroll jobs growth did not turn negative for eight months.
In 1970, unaware that the economy was nine months into recession, none other than Paul Samuelson said that the NBER had worked itself out of a job, meaning that improved policy expertise had made recessions very unlikely.
The key point here is that it is really difficult to know that a recession has already begun – until long after the fact.
Reports of the business cycle’s demise are greatly exaggerated.