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Economy in Brief

OECD LEIs Are Surging Especially Strong Is The Euro-Area
by Robert Brusca January 8, 2010

The OECD trend-adjusted leading indicators are showing strong increases compared to past business cycles. The chart shows that Europe, Japan, and the US have not been as synchronous and stronger since the expansion from the 1973-75 recession. The expansion from the 1981-82 recession was stronger (at least eventually) for the US but it took Japan until very late in the cycle to get stronger and Europe never did show the strength in that cycle that it is showing now, while it is still early in the cycle. Japan is not yet hitting a home run; its LEI rise (which is positive over six-months) is still small, but it also lagged in the recovery from the recession of 1981-82.

On balance the OECD data are impressive. They point to a recovery in progress. Push the pessimists aside. The main industrial economies are leading the way forward. It is important to look at the trends a to not get to caught up in the month to month numbers which always ebb and flow but whose natural ebb and flow seems more daunting when the economy is still sputtering.

What we learn in looking at the these indicators and these various economies’ monthly releases is how much the stock markets remains priced for good news but bond markets continue to mark jagged paths as they go from fearing strong growth and inflation to showing disappointment over current indicators that fall short of robustness. This sort of back and forth is very much the usual way of things early in economic recoveries. This recovery is so early in fact that the label ‘recovery’ has yet to be made official by the recession-dating arbiters.

OECD Trend-Restored Leading Indicators
Growth Progression-SAAR
  3Mos 6Mos 12mos Yr-Ago
OECD 11.4% 13.7% 6.3% -9.7%
OECD7 12.2% 14.4% 5.7% -10.4%
OECD.Euro-Area 12.4% 14.9% 8.5% -11.0%
OECD.Japan 10.8% 12.1% 0.7% -9.8%
OECD US 12.2% 14.2% 4.9% -10.1%
Six month readings at 6-Mo Intervals:
  Recent six 6Mo Ago 12Mo Ago 18MO Ago
OECD 13.7% -0.7% -14.9% -4.2%
OECD7 14.4% -2.4% -15.9% -4.6%
OECD.Eur 14.9% 2.5% -15.2% -6.5%
OECD.Japan 12.1% -9.6% -16.7% -2.4%
OECD US 14.2% -3.7% -15.9% -3.9%
Slowdowns indicated by BOLD RED
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