U.S. Economy

Anatomy of a Recession


How close could we be to the next recession —
and what should we watch for in the months ahead?
Assessing the likelihood of an impending recession is critical to determine where equities might be headed. In that context, how close could we be to the next recession? Will growth hold steady, weaken or pick up by the end of the year? What factors are most important to watch to help keep on track? Dissecting the world’s biggest economy, ClearBridge Investments’ Anatomy of a Recession program offers valuable answers, tracking key data along four vital economic fault lines. Discover how Anatomy of a Recession can help you stay prepared for changes ahead. 

U.S. Recession Risk Dashboard

12 variables have historically foreshadowed a looming recession
Data as of October 31, 2019. 
Sources: ClearBridge Investments, BLS, Federal Reserve, Census Bureau, ISM, BEA, American Chemistry Council, American Trucking Association, Conference Board, and Bloomberg. The ClearBridge Recession Risk Dashboard was created in January 2016. References to the signals it would have sent in the years prior to January 2016 are based on how the underlying data was reflected in the component indicators at the time.

Indicators From Past Recessions

12 variables have historically foreshadowed a looming recession
Data as of October 31, 2019. 
Sources: ClearBridge Investments, BLS, Federal Reserve, Census Bureau, ISM, BEA, American Chemistry Council, American Trucking Association, Conference Board, and Bloomberg. The ClearBridge Recession Risk Dashboard was created in January 2016. References to the signals it would have sent in the years prior to January 2016 are based on how the underlying data was reflected in the component indicators at the time.

The 2008 Recession

Case Study: 2006-2009
Source: BLS, Federal Reserve, Census Bureau, ISM, BEA, American Chemistry Council, American Trucking Association, Conference Board, and Bloomberg.

Featured Literature

The ClearBridge Recession Risk Dashboard gauges the likelihood of economic recession occurring over the next six to 18 months. It assesses 12 individual economic indicators that fall into four key areas: Business Activity, Consumer, Financial and Inflation. The signals from each of the 12 indicators are combined into an overall reading of either green, yellow or red.1

ClearBridge Investments is a leading global expert in quality-focused equity 

1 Each indicator can signal expansion, caution or recession based on the latest readings and ClearBridge’s analysis of the underlying trends. The signals and their changes are based on ClearBridge’s analysis and interpretations of the data. The ClearBridge Recession Risk Dashboard is not a crystal ball, but it can serve as a tool to help evaluate the risk of recession. The indicator is updated monthly using the most recent data available, supplied by Clearbridge.

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