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News Link • Economy - Economics USA

ISM and Recessions - Is the US Already In A Recession?

Wells Fargo's senior economist Mark Vitner reiterated the point last week, noting that since 1950, year-over-year growth in real GDP has dipped below 2% on 12 occasions. In 10 of those instances, the economy was already in recession or quickly entered one. The exceptions were 1956 and 2003. For our part, we've always believed that the strongest evidence is obtained by combining multiple data points into a single "gestalt." So I have difficulty concluding that the U.S. is on the verge of recession simply because the year-over-year growth rate has stalled. At the same time, we are closely monitoring a much broader set of data, because the deterioration has been very rapid. I should be clear - the evidence is not yet convincing that a recession is imminent, but it is also important to recognize that the developing risks are greater than most investors seem to assume at present.

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