Lakshman Achuthan, head of the Economic Cycle Research Institute, was on CNBC early this morning defending his controversial recession call.”We believe the recession is going to begin by the middle of 2012,” he reminded everyone.
“It’s very common to see positive GDP at the beginning of a recession. Half of the time, you have accelerating GDP growth.”
Achuthan started getting into the explanation behind his recession call, when Joe Kernan interrupted: “The show is over at 9.”
Becky Quick tried to speed things up: “So, your definition of recession is not what other economists look for: two quarters of downturn.”
Achuthan said no and that he was going on the NBER’s definition: “It’s a pronounced, pervasive, and persistent decline in output, employment, income, and sales.”
Two quarters of negative GDP is just a rule of thumb Achuthan added.
“In February, we had GDP in a cyclical downturn. We had production, sales in a big cyclical downturn,” he said. “The only thing that had not turned was jobs growth.”
“I told you it was going to flag. It is flagging.”
Clearly, Achuthan is getting increasingly confident in his recession call.
Here’s the interview courtesy of CNBC: