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The Last Word on the US Recession is in the Charts

While politicians argue over whether or not the United States is currently experiencing a recession, investors on Wall Street and elsewhere are keeping a careful eye on a gauge that signals the economy may have a slowdown in the weeks and months to come.

An inverted yield curve, which occurs when short-term rates for Treasury notes are higher than long-term rates, is one of the reliable indicators that a recession is on the horizon, and investors are keeping a close eye on it. The Treasury yield curve is regarded as one of the most reliable indicators of a recession.

If an investor chooses to invest in a Treasury instrument with a 10-year maturity instead of a two-year note, this may be interpreted as a sign that they do not have confidence in the state of the economy as a whole.

This year, the Federal Reserve has increased interest rates by 225 basis points to combat inflation. As a result of these rate hikes, the yield on the two-year Treasury note is now almost 50 basis points higher than that of the 10-year Treasury note.

Since the year 2000, this is the most severe inversion that has occurred. Jamie McGeever, a capital markets columnist for Reuters, stated on Wednesday that the inversion dropped to 40 basis points from 50 the previous day as a direct result of inflation data for July that was lower than anticipated.

When investors liquidate their stock holdings and reinvest the proceeds in bonds, this is known as an inversion. They think that the risk of owning stocks during a downturn could result in losses that are greater than the potential gains from bonds, which are guaranteed but have lower rates. When there is greater demand for bonds, yields fall as a direct consequence.

Historical Guide

According to the CNBC network, “this widespread lack of confidence explains why inverted yield curves have preceded every recession since 1956.” This information was obtained from the Federal Reserve.

The most recent inversion started in December 2005, which was before the recession that officially started in December 2007, which was then followed by the worldwide financial crisis in 2008.

Before the bursting of the IT bubble in 2001, there was also an inversion in the yields of several investments.

On March 31, 2019, for the first time since 2019, the yield on the two-year note fell below that on the 10-year note.

Inversions do not immediately lead to the beginning of recessions. Historically, an inversion has a tendency to occur anywhere from six months to one year and a half before a recession.

A peak in inflation has not been seen in forty years. Although the consumer price index showed a decrease in July, it still increased by 8.5% year-over-year, yet the equities markets in the United States have had their worst six-month start to a year since 1970.


Nevertheless, the slower increase in inflation that was reported on Wednesday did kick off a rebound in the stock market, with the tech-focused Nasdaq reentering bull market territory as a result of the gain.

According to Vladimir Signorelli, head of Bretton Woods Research in New Jersey, who spoke with Forbes, “the only reason why we are witnessing this rebound is because of the fall in oil, and that is not a good enough explanation.”

The yield curve will slope lower, which will not only reduce margins but also restrict bank lending. The detrimental effect on the economy caused by banks cutting off loans to companies and consumers is an unfortunate turn of events.

Christopher Wolfe, managing director of North American Banks at Fitch Ratings in New York, stated that “the slope of the curve counts.” [citation needed]

According to the most recent poll conducted by the Federal Reserve’s Senior Loan Officers, a “substantial” net 24 per cent of banks tightened their lending conditions for commercial and industrial loans in July.

Betsy Graseck of Morgan Stanley predicts that the three largest banks in the United States, JP Morgan, Bank of America, and Citi, may need to lower the amount of their riskiest assets by more than $150 billion by the end of this year.

As for the question of whether or not the economy of the United States is currently experiencing a recession, the fact that the growth of the gross domestic product was negative in the first and second quarters of this year is an event that satisfies the conventional definition of a recession.

However, a great number of economic experts believe that the National Bureau of Economic Research will refrain from labelling the current state of affairs as a recession because of the robust state of the employment market, which is growing by an average of about 500,000 jobs per month this year.

The most startling feature of the labour market, according to Peter Earle, a research fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research, is that “the number of Americans not only working two jobs but two full-time jobs, reached a record high.”

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In a column published on Wednesday, Mauro Forlin, an asset manager for the financial media organisation Money-Web, suggested that some economic indications might be indicating an impending recession.

He points out that the ISM Manufacturing New Orders Index has been falling since June of this year. This indicates that certain businesses are starting to face a slowdown in new orders and demand for their products.

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