Scott Krisiloff at Avondale Asset Management thinks we're likely to enter a recession some time during the next four years. But he doesn't think one is imminent.
I hope he's right but I can't endorse his reasoning:
"A more time tested recession indicator is the slope of the yield curve—when the spread between 2 year and 10 year Treasurys is inverted recession normally follows. In a zero interest rate environment the yield curve may have lost some of its informational content, but it's been a great cyclical indicator for a long time and it's grounded in sound economic logic, so it shouldn't be totally ignored. Today, even though the curve has flattened since '09 it is still not at or near the zero threshold. When recession is imminent I'm still on the lookout for the yield curve to go completely flat or invert even in this environment."
Traditionally, the yield curve was an excellent warning signal about recessions. It threw out a false alarm every now and again, but it never failed to warn when an actual recession was imminent.
(Read more: Why US Economy May Be Headed for Another Recession)
Unfortunately, that mechanism has probably broken down now. The reason the yield curve worked was because of a complex set of interactions between traders and the Federal Reserve.