Friday, February 27, 2009

Tracking the Recession

The Saint Louis Fed recently created a brief report that tracks the current recession via the behavior of GDP components and four economic indicators: industrial production, real income, employment, and real retail sales.

The report graphs multiple business cycles, by aligning the months in which each business cycle peaked. This allows you to compare the months leading up to, and following, peaks in the business cycle. In addition to the current series values, the average, highest, and lowest series values are displayed.

During this recession, the US has experienced the worst declines in industrial production and real retail sales, and is close to showing the worst decline in employment.

Industrial Production Real Income
Employment Real Retail Sales

The GDP numbers do not appear quite as dire. Personal consumption expenditures are showing a historically severe decline, which aligns with the real retail sales data. Real imports have also shown a significant decline during this recession.

Real Gross Domestic Product Real Personal Consumption Expenditures
Real Gross Private Domestic Investment Real Govenment Consumption Expenditures and Gross Investment
Real Exports of Goods and Services Real Imports of Goods and Services

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