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Sunday, August 08, 2010

Hamilton: Current economic conditions

by Calculated Risk on 8/08/2010 05:15:00 PM

Professor Hamilton reviews the data last week: Current economic conditions. Unfortunately he is even more "discouraged":

Last week's new economics data were a mixed bag. But on balance I'd have to say I'm more discouraged than when the week began.
The Aruoba-Diebold-Scotti Business Conditions Index, which does not use hours, and does not adjust the monthly employment changes for the effects of temporary Census hiring, is certainly discouraged. In fact, the combined effect of last week's increase in new claims for unemployment insurance plus the weak employment report pushed the ADS dangerously close to the -0.8 value that historically would often mean that a new recession could be starting. The most recent inference of that series, however, can be heavily influenced by the latest data, and it would be a mistake to make too much out of the most very recent values.

But it would also be a mistake to say that everything is going just fine.