The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Take That, Chicken Little !

12/28/2018

We barely hit a bear market, which means the market is down 20% from its high.  It is widely assumed that a bear market signals a recession.  Maybe or maybe not!

Of the last thirteen bear markets, there was a recession only 7 times.  There was no recession almost half of the time.

From the economist standpoint, there has some weakening in the data but not in the leading data.  Consumer confidence has declined slightly for the last two months, but that is backward looking.  Besides increased worries about Brexit, about Mueller, about the trade wars, about the government shutdown, or about Presidential behavior, consumers witnessed a very volatile stock market.  I’m surprised consumer confidence didn’t drop more.

Admittedly, the crushing weight of politics can eventually overwhelm economics, but not today!

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