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Good news from US gross domestic income [ClearOnMoney]
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Commentary

Good news from US gross domestic income

29 Mar 2012 by Jim Fickett.

GDI data for Q4 suggest the recovery was, at that point, in good shape.

Today the BEA released gross domestic income data through Q4 of 2011. This is of particular interest because GDI is a better indicator of the business cycle than GDP, and so these data are relevant to current debate about whether recent growth has been too sluggish to support a continuing recovery. GDI growth is actually looking quite strong:

Jeremy Nalewaik's work on the “stall” periods that sometimes precede recessions (On the value and limitations of the "stall speed" concept) indicates that annual growth in real GDI of less than 2% is fairly likely to be followed by a recession. The latest annual growth reading (Q4 2010 to Q4 2011) was 2.4%. Similarly, quarterly growth, annualized, of less than 1% is correlated with following recessions. The latest read was 4.4%. So the GDI data do not, thankfully, suggest a stall period.

Incidentally, the other three indicators used in Nalewaik's stall-speed algorithm, the quarterly change in the unemployment rate, the yield curve, and the quarterly change in housing starts, are all also pointing to recovery rather than recession.

The recovery is looking pretty good.