How to Judge the Pandemic’s Economic Outlook

When we try to figure out the pandemic’s economic outlook, we can ask economists which metrics they would select.

How the Alphabet Will Describe the Next Recession

When we describe the duration and the ups and downs of recent recessions, sometimes a letter from the alphabet comes in handy.

What the RV Recession Indicator Tells Us

When the economy is starting to contract, we can take a look at a recession indicator in Elkhart, Indiana to forecast the future.

The Reason That Recession Dates Matter

Asked to define a recession, you can give the mechanical answer. It is 2 or more adjacent quarters of a real GDP decline. So, if Q1 GDP grows by 3%, Q2 by 2% and then Q3 by 1%, is that…

Election Economics: Comparing Economic Recoveries

Illustrated by this graph from the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, sometimes one orange line can create a huge debate. The thick orange line representing the US recovery from the December 2007-June 2009 recession reflects a tepid ascent next to curves that represent…

Unusual Economic Indicators

If you see women in long skirts at “sit-down” restaurants, then the economy is probably expanding. Since 1926 when the hemline index was first expressed, economists have assumed that hemlines fall if the economy contracts and rise during prosperity. However,…

It’s Official

We now know when the recession officially ended. But I still wonder whether we are moving along a “V”, a “U”, a “W” or an “L”. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the recession began during December,…

Is It Over?

Imagine a “u” attached to a slightly (or considerably) higher upside down “u” and you are looking at 2 business cycles. A business cycle includes a peak, a contraction, a trough, and an expansion. Most people think that this recession started…