Last spring, when most economists were talking about a second-half recovery, Economic Cycle Research Institute co-founder Lakshman Achuthan came on The Daily Ticker and declared a global summer slowdown was coming.
Now that Wall Street consensus has turned extremely bearish on the economy, we figured it was time to check back with Achuthan to get his current view.
"We've got more weakness in front of us," he says. "We don't see any upturn yet."
Still, ECRI is not ready to declare a new recession is imminent, much less already started as many others contend. "The jury is still out," Achuthan says. "Our indicators have not gone to the point where we can definitely say 'boom it's a recession.' Problem is they haven't turned up either, it's a very persistent decline in these indicators."
As for the myriad other economists now putting odds on a recession, Achuthan believes they are playing a "dangerous" game. "It's the illusion of precision," he says. "If you take a look at whoever's making those calls [and] look at their track record of calling recessions I think you'll be unimpressed."
Check the accompanying video for more with Achuthan, including his view on the economic impact of Hurricane Irene and whether all the talk about a recession can become self-fulfilling and help create one.
- Lakshman Achuthan