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Friday, November 07, 2008

ECRI WLI GRowth Rate Continues Plunge to Record Lows

Today the Economic Cycle Research Institute, or ECRI an independent forecasting group based in New York, said its Weekly Leading Index (WLI) fell to its lowest level in its six decade history. The WLI and its growth rate are designed to predict future turning points in the business cycle (recessions and recoveries.)
Today ECRI said its WLI fell to 110.9 for the period ending October 31, 2008. Last week WLI was 112.9 .

The WLI growth rate fell to -24.6%, down from -21.9% last week.

Commenting on the data, Anirvan Banerji, from ECRI said
"We are now in a severe recession."

"The leading indicators are showing no light at the end of this tunnel. In the last week of October they registered their worst readings in their six decades of history. It tells you the economy's not just down, it's plunging. There is no end in sight to this recession."

Date and graph courtesy of Economic Cycle Research Institute

Jobless rate bolts to 14-year high of 6.5 percent in October; 240,000 jobs cut
  • The jobless rate zoomed to 6.5 percent in October from 6.1 percent in September, matching the rate in March 1994.
  • Unemployment has now surpassed the high seen after the last recession in 2001. The jobless rate peaked at 6.3 percent in June 2003.
  • October's decline marked the 10th straight month of payroll reductions

In this March 28, 2008 article, ECRI Called it "A Recession of Choice." At the same time Bob Brinker called ECRI and others "Cassandras" for scaring investors out of stocks in the 1300s and 1400s. In this May 31, 2008 "Cassandra Rant" when the S&P500 was last at 1400, Bob Brinker told his radio audience:
What we have right in here now is evidence that the Cassandras, who earlier this year, were telling us we were in recession – right now they’ve basically – well I’ll be kind, basically, they look like fools right now.

….So what we have here basically, is an example of false prophets and it’s sad. And the reason it’s sad is the damage done. Think of the people that are looking today at the market, S&P at 1400 and they’ve been scared out of the market in the first quarter by these bears………

It’s just amazing and yet these people are out there, and these people are not happy, I’m sure, to find themselves out of a rising market since March. To find themselves looking for ever lower prices when in fact we’ve had the opposite."
Bob should have listened to the Cassandras or at least admit he of all people can not time the stock market or predict the economy.

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