Picture du Jour: US consumer holds back growth

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An interesting chart comes from the Consumer Metrics Institute (via Clusterstock – Chart of the Day) that constructs a US consumption index based on actual transactions data for a range of major discretionary purchases such as cars, houses, durable goods, and vacations.

Although the time series is rather short, the “Daily Growth Index” usually leads changes in US GDP (see chart below). Based on the historical relationship, the Index would seem to indicate slower GDP growth ahead. This concurs with a recent analysis of the US ISM non-manufacturing and ISM manufacturing surveys posted on the Investment Postcards site about ten days ago.

clusterstock-11-march-2010

Source: Clusterstock – Chart of the Day, March 11, 2010.

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1 comment to Picture du Jour: US consumer holds back growth

  • HKN

    You can compare a million curves and find a couple that, in retrospect, appear to be leading indicators for the past three years.

    A better source would be The Conference Board, which publishes an index of leading business cycle indicators with a good long-term track record of predicting recessions.

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