Disappointingly Weak Growth

Recent economic indicators tell more of the same story– disappointingly weak growth.

U.S. auto sales for September repeated the same kind of numbers we’ve been seeing since March. The last 7 months have averaged 10% above the corresponding values for the same months last year, but well below what had been typical in previous years.

Data source: Wardsauto.com

The ISM manufacturing PMI continues to slide, now standing at 54.4 for September. That still signals a growing economy, but at a slightly slower rate than we’ve been seeing. And the rate we’ve been seeing wasn’t nearly fast enough.

Source: FRED

More troubling was last week’s Chicago Fed National Activity Index, whose 3-month moving average for August stood at -0.42, suggesting quite weak growth. A value below -0.72 would be the sort of number that could signal the beginning of another recession.

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

The economy overall is still growing. But we seem as far from where we’d like to be as ever.

Hangin’ in there

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About James D. Hamilton 244 Articles

James D. Hamilton is Professor of Economics at the University of California, San Diego.

Visit: Econbrowser

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