by Fabius Maximus
Summary: The course of US politics might depend on what happens to the US economy during the past three years. Predictions are difficult, but the trend is clear: the economy is slowing.
By most metrics, economic growth peaked in January 2015. Here are graphs showing the past five years, all in terms of percent year-over-year growth. These show the trend, washing out the noise — but does not show the most recent changes.
Workers’ real wages
Growth of workers’ wages per hour — wages of production and non-supervisory workers (85% of all workers) minus the CPI — peaked in January 2015 at 2.3%. In December (the last month available) it was 0.3%. It was probably roughly the same in January (hourly wages were unchanged).
Commercial and Industrial Loans
University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index
Average weekly hours
The supply of money
The OECD Leading Indicators look strong!
The OECD Composite Leading Indicator (CLI) for the US peaked in July – August 2014 at 101.0. It was 99.9 in November 2018. The CLI for the full OECD has followed the same path. Note: unlike the other graphs, this shows the absolute value of the CLI (not the YoY change).