Cause For Concern: The Coincident/Lagging Indicators Ratio Continues To Fall

A few months ago, I touched on the concept of how the coincident/lagging ratio can often provide a leading indicator into economic activity.  In my May post I wrote:

One of the theories behind this ratio is that when the expansion is nearing its final stages both sets of indicators will be rising, but the increase for the coincident will be slower than the lagging hence the ratio will fall.

Richard Yamarone notes in his book “The Trader’s guide to key economic indicators” that this ratio has fallen before every recession since 1959.  

Legendary investor Ken Fisher is also known to use this ratio in his view of the economy.  In 1992 Fisher noted that “when this ratio is rising sharply, always be bullish” and “when it is falling, adopt your most bearish posture”. 

An updated view of this ratio shows continued deterioration – all this despite the fact that leading indicators continue to rise.  Add this to the list of concerns about a slowing economy.


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