February 18, 2019

Chart of the Week: US economic sentiment dips again, but a recession is still some way off

by Fathom Consulting.

Our US Economic Sentiment Indicator (US ESI) declined for the fourth month in a row in January, falling from 4.4% to 4.0%, as the government shutdown, market volatility and concerns about the global economy weighed on confidence. Nevertheless, 20 of the 23 components of the US ESI were above their long-term averages, suggesting that the near-term outlook for the US economy remains strong. The impasse in Washington has delayed many data releases, including the advance estimate of GDP for 2018 Q4 — now expected at end of this month. This means that assessment of the US economy is more complicated than usual. With signs of a slowdown in Europe, the fact that the US economy added more than 300,000 net new jobs in January was encouraging, and suggests the world’s largest economy is some way from recession.

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