(Friday, June 19, 2020, 7 p.m. EST) The dog days of summer are not supposed to come until August, but the virus crisis brought them early this year.
As the epidemic's economic effects ebb, uncertainty reigns and makes this time between recession and recovery odd.
But signs of recovery are already blossoming.
Retail sales for the 12 months through May were down -3.9%, compared to the 12-month period through the end of April. In the 12 months ended April 30, 2020, retail sales plunged -18.2% versus May's -3.9% 12-month pace.
The sharp improvement in retail sales last month indicates that the recession is likely to be one of the shortest in post-War history, just four months in length. In comparison, The Great Recession that followed the 2008 global financial crisis lasted about 18 months.
The U.S. Index of Leading Economic Indicators rose +1.1% in May, following a -4.4% contraction in April and a -7.4% decline in March, the largest decline in its 60-year history.
The Covid recession, which officially began in February 2020 is expected to end officially May 30. The recovery is likely to begin officially June 1.
The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) lost one-half of 1% Friday but gained 1.83% this past week. It closed Friday at 3,097.74, which is 32.25% over the March 23rd bear market low.
The S&P 500 closed last Friday with a +4.8% weekly gain, The index had gained 3% a week earlier and 3.2% the week before.
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) components: 1) average weekly hours worked, manufacturing; 2) average weekly initial unemployment claims; 3) manufacturers' new orders consumer goods and materials; 4) ISM index of new orders; 5) manufacturers' new orders, nondefense capital goods; 6) building permits new private housing units; 7) stock prices, S&P 500; 8) Leading Credit Index ; 9) interest rate spread; 10-year Treasury less fed funds; 10) index of consumer expectations.
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