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2022Q3 second release, alternative measure of activity, and recession in 2022H1?


Here are GDP, GDO and GDP+ through Q3 2022, and monthly indicators through 2022M10. I (still) don’t see a recession in the first half of 2022.

figure 1: GDP (black), GDO (tan), and GDP+ (turquoise), all in 2012 billions of dollars, logarithmic, Q4 2019 = 0. The hypothetical 2022H1 recession peak-to-trough dates are shaded in lilac. Source: BEA 2022Q3 Version 2, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia (11/30/2022), and the authors’ calculations.

Note that GDO fell less than GDP in Q1 and Q2. GDP+ (Discussion here) always shows positive growth — albeit at a slower rate (remember, since the series is displayed in logarithmic form, a flatter slope indicates a slower growth rate).Keep in mind that GDP may be revised repeatedly (see here).

How does the monthly metric compare to vehicle miles driven, which is considered an indicator of recession?Some are shown below (regular, then NBER BCDC shows here).

figure 2: GDP+ (blue bars), coincident index (teal), total hours per week adjusted to preliminary baseline revisions (dark red), monthly GDP from IHS Markit (pink) and vehicle miles driven, sa (orange) , both normalized to 2021M11=0 . The hypothetical 2022H1 recession date is shaded in lavender. resource: Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia (11/30/2022), Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia (11/23/2022), BLS, BLS Preliminary Baseline Revision, IHS Markit (11/1/2022), BTS via FREDand the authors’ calculations.

Note that while reported vehicle miles traveled (VMT) are below November 2021 levels, given the times we live in, I’m not sure VMT is a reliable indicator of a recession, if it ever was (see this postal).



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