GOLDMAN: 'We believe a US recession remains years away'

A handful of slowing economic indicators and deteriorating market metrics suddenly have some economists warning that we could be heading for an imminent recession.

But that’s not the house view at Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

“Chinese market turmoil, a Greek fiscal crisis, plunging oil prices, and the prospect of rising interest rates certainly can put investors on guard,” they write in their Q4 2015 report. “But we believe this year’s bouts of volatility are the sort which stir markets without shaking their foundations. Most significantly, the ongoing economic recovery in key developed markets, from the US to Europe, remains early to mid-cycle.”

While there are indicators signalling contraction, there are many others signalling expansion.

“A range of cyclical economic indicators suggests the US economy remains on solid footing,” they added. “The current economic recovery, despite running for more than six years, is holding steady. In fact, indicators ranging from housing to inflation to wages suggest the current expansion still has room to run.”

Looking back at recessions since 1975, GSAM analysts found the average number of years we had to wait after certain key economic metrics hit levels that we’re seeing today.

“We believe a US recession remains years away,” they said.

Here some colour about the chart’s indicators from GSAM: “Chart data from 1975 to 2015. ‘Average Hourly Earnings’ is a Year over Year (YoY) measure of earnings for production and non-supervisory employees. ‘Inflation’ looks at the YoY change in US Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Deflator, which measures the price change of domestically produced goods and services. ‘Yield Curve’ represents the spread between the US 10-Year Treasury and the Federal Funds Rate, which measures the steepness of the yield curve. ‘Housing starts’ represents the 12-month average number of new residential construction projects. The ‘Leading Indicator Index’ is a composite which tracks 10 economic factors designed to signal peaks and troughs in the business cycle.”

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