The latest industrial production numbers were released this morning and they came in below estimates with the prior month revised down. The year-to-year rate of change in industrial production is now -1.75%. In the post WWII period, industrial production has never contracted by 1.75% or more without that contraction being associated with a recession. One data point does not a recession forecast make. And this time could of course be different as the industrial sector is a much smaller part of the economy than it was decades ago, but investors should have their antennae up sensing for signs of more widespread trouble.
Jeremy Jones, CFA, CFP® is the Director of Research at Young Research & Publishing Inc., and the Chief Investment Officer at Richard C. Young & Co., Ltd. Richard C. Young & Co., Ltd. was ranked #10 in CNBC's 2019 Financial Advisor Top 100. Jeremy is also a contributing editor of youngresearch.com.