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Following The GDP And Jobs Report, Are We In A Recession?

We asked our panel:

Following the GDP and jobs report, are we in a recession?

Yes 6
No 5












The Kudlow Caucus Breakdown

We asked our panel:

Following the GDP and jobs report, are we in a recession?

Yes 6
No 5











Stefan Abrams
Stefan Abrams

Yes
Stefan Abrams Managing Partner, Bryden-Abrams Investment Management
Although we have not yet seen two quarters of negative real GDP, there have been 8 months of declining employment, virtually stagnant real wages, 3.4% year-on-year, which is below headline inflation, sluggish consumer discretionary spending, a peaking in corporate profit margins, a weak US dollar, wider credit spreads signaling stress in the financial markets, near record low consumer confidence, etc. what else would you call this?

We asked our panel:

Following the GDP and jobs report, are we in a recession?

Yes 6
No 5











Jared Bernstein
Jared Bernstein

Yes
Jared Bernstein
Senior Economist, Economic Policy Institute
Next question?

We asked our panel:

Following the GDP and jobs report, are we in a recession?

Yes 6
No 5











Jerry Bowyer
Jerry Bowyer

No
Jerry Bowyer Chief Economist, Benchmark Financial Network
The GDP was positive as of one month ago. It showed a huge inventory reduction which will have to be at least partly replenished in this quarter. ISM and regional surveys have basically held steady since then. The jobless claims spike last week was a stats glitch – a 13 week extension of unemployment benefits was granted and many people re-applied when that extension became available. The unemployment spike to 5.7% is troubling, but a lot of that is teenagers hurt by the new minimum wage hike. It’s hard on them, but small GDP impact. Remainder of the year, we’ll probably grow, but very slowly.

We asked our panel:

Following the GDP and jobs report, are we in a recession?

Yes 6
No 5











Joseph A. Lavorgna
Joseph A. Lavorgna

Yes
Joe Lavorgna Managing Director
Chief US Economist
Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc.

After we get another set of revisions we will learn that the economy was indeed shrinking earlier this year.

We asked our panel:

Following the GDP and jobs report, are we in a recession?

Yes 6
No 5











Jim Lacamp
Jim Lacamp

No
Jim LaCamp Portfolio Manager, Portfolio Focus, RBC Wealth Management
Co-Host, Opening Bell Radio Show, Biz Radio Network
I don't think we are in a recession now. Ism numbers out today were weak but not recessionary and manufacturing and exports are hanging in....barely. We are veering towards recession though and with a steep drop in oil it could be avoided. Barring that steep drop I think we will in fact be in recession territory by October.

We asked our panel:

Following the GDP and jobs report, are we in a recession?

Yes 6
No 5











Art Laffer
Art Laffer

No
Art Laffer Fmr. Reagan Economic Advisor
Chief Investment Officer, Laffer Investments
But close.

We asked our panel:

Following the GDP and jobs report, are we in a recession?

Yes 6
No 5











Donald Luskin
Donald Luskin

No
Donald L. Luskin Chief Investment Officer, Trend Macrolytics LLC
Of course we are not. Don’t be silly. Over history, average real GDP growth (quarter annualized) is negative 1.5%, and the second quarter was just reported at positive 1.9%. Over history, adjusting for the size of the labor force, payroll job losses average 266,000 in recessions. In July we just lost 51,000. Over history, the average unemployment rate in recessions is 6.2%. In July it was only 5.7%. Anyone who thinks this is a recession has obviously never learned any economic history. Are we headed into a recession? Maybe. At least that’s something we can debate. But if the word “recession” is to have any meaning, then we certainly are not in one now.

We asked our panel:

Following the GDP and jobs report, are we in a recession?

Yes 6
No 5











Steve Moore
Steve Moore

Yes
Steve Moore Sr. Economics Writer, The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board
We are in an asset stock market housing and jobs recession.

We asked our panel:

Following the GDP and jobs report, are we in a recession?

Yes 6
No 5











James Pethokoukis
James Pethokoukis

No
James Pethokoukis
Sr. Writer, U.S. News & World Report (Money & Business)
Unless you redefine "recession" to mean "any period where unemployment increases from record low levels" or "any period where the economy shrinks if exclude trade" or "any period where politicians benefit by badmouthing the economy." But using commonly accepted data, nope.

We asked our panel:

Following the GDP and jobs report, are we in a recession?

Yes 6
No 5











Robert Reich
Robert Reich

Yes
Robert Reich
Former Labor Secretary
Professor of Public Policy, UC Berkeley

With seven months of declining employment, coupled with a sharp drop in real median incomes, you have to be on another planet to believe we're not in a recession.

We asked our panel:

Following the GDP and jobs report, are we in a recession?

Yes 6
No 5











Gary Shilling
Gary Shilling

Yes
Gary Shilling
A. Gary Shilling & Co. President
The negative GDP #’s for the 4th quarter of last year suggested it started last year. With 7 months in a row declining payroll employment it would be a historic first if we weren’t in a recession.

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