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Leading Economic Indicators Defy Recession

Leading U.S. economic indicators have long served as bellwethers for what’s coming over the horizon, whether a recession or continued growth. Economists now look at such areas as consumer confidence, new housing starts, worker hours, supply chain execution, stock market performance, interest rate spreads, unemployment and manufacturing activity to determine which direction the economy’s heading.

Lately, all of those factors are set against a sea of concerns – ranging from rising international trade tensions, political unrest, a partial government shutdown and continued interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve – any of which could trigger a downturn. And, despite the economic expansion and record job growth, the health of the economy is being questioned. There’s perhaps even more heightened attention to a potential recession these days, since the country’s current business cycle is experiencing the second longest expansion in history.

An examination of leading indicators points to a late stage expansion, especially if the stock market downturn is mild, the yield curve inversion doesn’t materialize, and low unemployment persists. Still, experts predict the onset of an economic downturn could arrive in late 2019. A recession could ensue if the Fed’s continued rate hikes further narrow interest rate spreads and a yield curve inversion occurs, and a downturn would be further fueled if the money supply gets throttled back and energy prices rise in early 2019.

The narrowing of the spread would squeeze bank profit margins, thus discourage lending and result in an economic slowdown, since the money supply already trails the expansion of loan demand.


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About Dennis Kaiser

Dennis Kaiser is Vice President of Content and Public Relations for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Dennis is a communications leader with more than 30 years of experience including as a journalist and in corporate and agency marketing communications roles. He is responsible for Connect’s client content operations and is involved in a range of initiatives ranging from content strategy, message development, copywriting, media relations, social media and content marketing services. In his most recent corporate communications roles, he led a regional public relations effort across Southern California for CBRE, played a key marketing role on JLL’s national retail team, and was responsible for directing the global public relations effort at ValleyCrest, the nation’s largest commercial landscape services company. In addition to his vast commercial real estate experience, Dennis has worked on communications and launch strategies for a number of residential projects such as Disney’s Celebration in Florida, Ritter Ranch in Palmdale California (7,200 homes, 22,000 acres), WaterColor in Florida and PremierGarage in Phoenix. Dennis’s agency background included firms such as Idea Hall and Macy + Associates. He has earned an outstanding reputation with organization leaders as a trusted advisor, strategic program implementer, consensus builder and exceptional collaborator. Dennis has developed and managed national communications programs for Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, both public and private. He’s successfully worked with journalists across the globe representing clients involved in major-breaking news stories, product launches, media tours, and company news announcements. Dennis has been involved in a host of charitable and community organizations including the American Cancer Society, Easter Seals, BoyScouts, Chrysalis Foundation, Freedom For Life, HOLA, L.A.’s BEST, Reach Out and Read, Super Bowl Host Committee, and Thunderbirds Charities.

  • ◦Economy
  • ◦Financing
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