Recession has Arrived; Factory Orders Decline 2.9%, Inventories Rise

Even though economists see a mere 20% chance of recession in 2016, I am increasingly confident a recession began in December 2015.

by Mish

It was another disastrous factory orders report this month.

  • December factory orders fell 2.9%
  • Durable goods orders -5.0%, nondurable goods -0.8%
  • November factory orders revised from -0.2% to -0.7%.
  • Core capital goods orders fell steep 4.3%
  • Inventories rose 0.2%
  • The inventory-to-sales ratio rose again which portends weakness for future hiring and production.
  • Shipments fell a steep 1.4%

The Econoday Consensus Estimate was -2.8%, nearly on the mark in a range of -3.7% to +0.2%. It’s mind-boggling that an economist would predict a rise. Are they throwing darts?

Core Capital Spending

Year-over-year core capital spending by manufacturers has been in negative territory for eleven months. Core capital spending is defined as nondefense capital goods, excluding aircraft.

The chart appears as if spending was positive last October, but that reading is -0.3%

Case for Recession Builds

Fantasyland Material

With this disastrous report and a clear slowing of the service economy, a recession has arrived. Given NBER dating mechanisms, we may not know for another year!

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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