Despite our best hopes, the “fiscal cliff” drama remains alive and well. It’s important to remember that the magnitude of these decisions don’t allow for easy answers. Truly meaningful change will need to look out 10-20 years in order to adequately put us on sound fiscal footing. In my view, everything should be on the table, and we should be asking for “shared sacrifice” to encourage a greater sense of individual responsibility from all citizens.
In the near-term though, our stable of leading indicators and the benchmark US Industrial Production Index are not suggesting an imminent recession. The Purchasing Managers Index, US Leading Indicator, and the ITR Leading Indicator™ have softened or ticked downward on a rate-of-change basis, but due to their collective lead times to the overall economy, we think they are speaking more to a slowdown in the US economy in late 2013 or early 2014.
Based on our analysis of these indicators, we believe that 2013, particularly the first half, will offer opportunities for those prepared to take them. The rising trend in the general economy is healthier than many people believe, and it can offer opportunity to those who are actively seeking it.