Monday, August 31, 2020

The long leading forecast for H1 2021 at Seeking Alpha

 - by New Deal democrat

It’s been a long time since I “officially” updated my primary set of long leading indicators, mainly because the until it is brought under control the coronavirus pandemic renders other indicators moot.

But that is likely to change by sometime in spring next year, so it makes sense to see what the economy might look like right after that.

This post was posted at Seeking Alpha.

The outcome of the election, and the likely time by which a decent vaccine might become available factor importantly into this outlook.

As I commented in response to some pushback there, my thought process was generally as follows:
95% of this article is exactly the same analysis of long leading indicators I have done twice a year for about the past 10 years.
The problem is that if the pandemic is still raging next summer, the normal indicators are not helpful in examining what the economy is likely to be like then. But if the pandemic is under control, then the effects of the normal indicators should be applicable.
On that score, point 2 - that a vaccine seems likely to be in place by then for at least the most vulnerable parts of the population - has nothing to do with politics.

As to point one, all poll aggregators and virtually all economic-based forecasts indicate a likely Biden win (e.g., applying the index of leading indicators to the contestants’ polls from the end of Q1). That isn’t political either; that’s simply historical metrics.
Will the national election make a difference in the future course of the pandemic? Go to, and scroll down to the third set of graphs: infections and deaths Per Capita for 122 countries. 
The US’s history is unique. It isonly in the company of third world countries. Almost every other industrialized country, both East and West, including all of the major ones, brought the pandemic under control, even though several - France and Spain - got complacent and have allowed a subsequent resurgence.
The only factor that explains the uniquely bad response of the US among industrialized countries to the pandemic is national leadership.
The only “leap of faith” required to back up point one is whether the likely election winner is also likely to be able to achieve the result of dozens of other national political leaderships in the industrialized world. That seems a reasonable calculation to me.
As a result, to include the matter of the likely course of the pandemic based on the outcome of the election in November is an important determinant of the analysis of the numbers.