ECRI Says New Recession Now Inevitable

| Mon Oct. 3, 2011 6:39 PM EDT

Karl Smith looks at the latest housing and manufacturing data and feels optimistic:

There is no indication at the moment that construction is headed for contraction and the probability that manufacturing is contracting is headed downward. Thus, I believe a double-dip becoming less likely.

The Economic Cycle Research Institute looks at "dozens" of leading indexes and gets ready to slit its wrists:

The U.S. economy is indeed tipping into a new recession. And there’s nothing that policy makers can do to head it off....In fact, the most reliable forward-looking indicators are now collectively behaving as they did on the cusp of full-blown recessions, not “soft landings.”

So, who do you want to believe? I'd like to believe Karl, but unfortunately, I suspect ECRI has the better of the argument. There's just too much government stimulus coming to an end soon that plainly won't be replaced thanks to Republican unwillingness to do anything that might help the economy before next year's election. Obviously the stalemate in Europe isn't helping things either. As Greg Ip says, "A global economy with decent cyclical fuel and no obvious imbalances is being betrayed by politics. Policy has pushed us over the brink in the past when it was for our own good (ie, inflation was threatening). If it happens now, it will be the first recorded instance of it happening by obduracy instead of by choice."

We are deliberately creating a new recession. It is truly an amazing thing.

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