Category Archives: Probability of a recession

18/6/19: In May, 12 month forward probability of a U.S. recession has jumped up


The NY Fed estimated risk of recession (12 months forward) has hit another business cycle high of 29.62% for May 2020, up from 27.49% for April 2020, marking seventh consecutive monthly increase.

Historically, probability of a recession 9-15mo ahead of the actual recession realisation has been at 18.45%, which is significantly below the current running 3 months average of 28.06%.

To put these levels into perspective, here is the chart of the time series:


The current levels of the index are clearly in line with the historical trends for the 9-12 months recession expectations. More so, they are actually in line with 3-6 months recession expectations. In fact, we have to go back to 1967-1968 to find the only episode in the entire history of the data series where current levels of the index were not coincident with an actual recession or with 3-6 months-lagged realisation of a recession.

May 2020 reading is the ninth highest probability estimate for the probability of a recession in history for any period outside and actual recession + 6 months prior and 3 months after.