On an annual basis, activity continues to appear to be increasing. Shown below are the Lewis-Mertens-Stock (NY Fed) WEI, the weekly Woloszko Tracker (OECD) and the Baumeister-Leiva-Leon-Sims Weekly Economic Conditions Index for the US, for data up to a week ago (September 10th):
Figure 1: Lewis-Mertens-Stock (NY Fed) Weekly Economic Conditions Index (blue), Woloszko (OECD) Weekly Tracker (tan), Baumeister-Leiva-Leon-Sims Index of US Weekly Economic Conditions plus 2% trend (green) indicating magenta shading H1 defaults to a slack dates. Source: NY Fed via FRED, OECD, WECI, and author accounts.
The WEI reading for the week ending 9/10 of 2.6 can be interpreted as a quarterly growth of 2.6% if the 2.6 reading continues for a full quarter. The OECD Weekly Tracker’s reading of 2.1 can be interpreted as an annual growth rate of 2.1% for the year ending 9/10. The Baumeister et al. A reading of 1.5% is interpreted as a 1.5% growth rate over the long-term trend growth rate. Average US GDP growth over the period 2000-19 is about 2%, meaning that the growth rate is 3.5% for the year ending 9/10.
Since these are year-over-year growth rates, it is possible that we were stagnating in H1 as suggested by an observer two weeks ago (the period marked by purple shading), but (still) seems unlikely, versus suggestions by observers such as Stephen Kubits.