Economic Update - November, 2021

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posted on Tue, Nov 09, 2021

The purpose of this update is to identify any macro level red flags for a potential recession in the near term.  The past 18 months has been unprecedented.  COVID-19 simultaneously put an end to the last market cycle and created a new one in a very short time frame.  The end result will most likely be a shorter than normal market cycle.  These updates will become more important now so we can proactively approach your investment strategies.

We will breakdown the analysis into 2 components:

1) EARLY WARNING - Inverted Yield Curve

An inverted yield curve is when the 2 year U.S. treasury rate falls below the 10 year U.S. treasury rate for a 30 day period. The last 10 times this happened (since 1955), the U.S. economy entered a recession within the next 16 months (on average).  It has historically been a great early warning sign for an upcoming recession.

As of November 9, 2021 the 10 year Treasury rate is 1.429% and the 2 year Treasury rate is 0.417%.  That is a healthy spread between the 2 rates and we have not had an inversion since the last recession.  One thing to keep an eye on is the narrowing of the spread over the past month.  In October the spread was approximately 1.3% and now it is about 1.0%.  As of right now there is no early warning sign of a recession.

2) CURRENT STATUS - Economic PI Baseline

To get a sense of what the current economic state looks like we use the BaR Analysis Grid©.  By plotting 19 key economic indicators, the grid clarifies current economic conditions and signals how near the economy is to a recession. The mean of coordinates (MoC) indicates the overall health of the economy. Leading indicators (LD) are a subset of indicators that provide insight into emerging trends.  A more in depth analysis on how to read the chart can be found HERE.

It is helpful to see a comparison between the last 2 months.  Overall there has not been a lot of movement, but there is certainly a trend of more data points pushing into the Decline Quadrant.


There are 4 major stages to an economic cycle:

1) Early Recession - Consumer expectations are at their worst, industrial production is falling, interest rates are at their highest and the yield curve is flat or even inverted.

2) Full Recession - GDP has been retracting quarter over quarter, interest rates are falling, consumer expectations have bottomed and the yield curve is normal.

3) Early Recovery - Consumer expectations are rising, industrial production is growing, interest rates have bottomed and the yield curve is beginning to get steeper.

4) Late Recovery - Interest rates can be rising rapidly, with a flattening yield curve. Consumer expectations are beginning to decline and industrial production is flat.

Based on the data from this report, as of November 9, 2021 it appears that we are in the middle of an early and late recovery.  As stated at the top of the blog this market cycle could move fast and at least over the last month is proving that out.  We will want to update the information on a regular basis and adjust investment portfolios accordingly. 

Please feel free to contact me anytime to discuss your personal situation in more detail.