Please explain more about the ECRI as a forecaster. Do we have access to these figures and their interpretation? (April 17, 2002)
The Economic Cycle Research Institute puts out a weekly gauge of leading economic indicators and also calculates a 6-month leading indicator as well as an inflation indicator. There is a website at http://businesscycle.com. Not all of the information provided is free. You can get historical data free, but not the current data.
The ECRI has turned out to be a very accurate gauge of future economic activity. It takes into account many more elements than the governments LEI, and it is claimed to give a 'faster' view of what is going on because it is more sensitive given the elements it considers. It covers not only the U.S, but economies all over the world. It correctly forecast the slowdown in 2000 and 2001, and it showed there was no inflation on the horizon even as the Fed was making all of the noise about inflation around the corner. Not many look at it, but we sure do. Thus far it is saying that there is a recovery ongoing and will continue, that it won't be a double dip, and there is no threat of inflation at all.
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