Less negative outlook for the US economy

Notice that today the influence weighted Onalytica Recession-Index (US Economy) has reached the lowest level of the last three months.

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From our experience, as the influence weighted index has dipped below the equally weighted Onalytica Recession-Index (US Economy), there is reason to believe that the general public’s perception of the US economy will improve.

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Onalytica Indexes Roundup

There is a growing feeling that the US Economy is improving.

On 11 December 2012 the Onalytica Recession-Index (US Economy) has decreased by 6.6 percentage points since 7 days before (see first chart below). The underlying trend for both Onalytica Crisis-Index (US Economy) and Onalytica Debt-Index (US Economy) is downward; the former fell 7.9 percentage points, while the latter was 7.6% below its level on 4 December 2012.

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Fear of fiscal cliff is decreasing

During the second half of this year the focus on fiscal cliff in the context of US Economy has become increasingly popular.

The first chart below shows the trend of the public debate on fiscal cliff since July 2012. All the participants to debate have an equal weight on the topic of US Economy. This means that national media, influential economists and personal blogs have all an equally important voice in the debate.

Unsurprisingly, the focus on fiscal cliff has sharply increased (more than 20%) around the US Election date. After peaking during the week 12-19 November, the public’s interest in the fiscal cliff has slowly started to drop once there were hopes of US budget deal.

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S&P 500 and UST 10YR: anticipate their trend with the help of Onalytica Indexes

Onalytica Indexes are a collection of alternative financial indices which reflect how economic and business issues such as recession, inflation, crisis, etc. are perceived by the population in general and by those with more influence in the debate.

Moreover, the indices are related to several classical financial indices and indicators of the state of the economy.

In a previous post it has been shown that the Recession-Index is often a leading indicator for the direction of increase/decrease of the GDP, both for UK and US Economies.

We discuss here two other examples that highlight the relationships between Onalytica Indexes and economic indices: we compare the US Recession-Index with S&P 500 and with US Treasury Bond Yields (UST 10YR).

First, we have compared the Equal-Weighted US Recession-Index with the S&P 500 index over the period August 2008 to May 2012 (see first chart below).

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Predicting changes in GDP from online data

In a previous post I highlighted a small example of how the Onalytica Recession-Index gave a good indication of an impending recession in the UK.

However, I haven’t had the opportunity to conduct a more thorough analysis so I recently asked my colleague, Dr. Andreea Moldovan, to have a look at the Onalytica Recession-Index in relation to GDP. Her findings impressed me.

Figure 1 (below) shows the UK GDP against Recession-Index for UK Economy. The values for GDP are given in quarterly percentage (or relative) change on previous quarter.

The Recession-Index is a 1 month leading indicator as it can be seen on the chart.

The series have different scales and are represented on different vertical axes, for ease of chart interpretation. The left vertical axis corresponds to the Recession-Index values, while the right axis is for the GDP.

Since Q1 2010 and except for Q4 2010, the Recession-Index correctly predicts the UK GDP direction of growth (increase or decrease) 1 month ahead. On the chart this is reflected by the series having opposite directions: decrease in Recession perception by the population corresponds to a growth in GDP and vice versa. So, in 8 out of 9 situations analysed the prediction is correct.

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