Real Manufacturing & Trade Sales
Shall I try another cyclical chart of one of the variables that the the dating committee gives heavy weighting to in determining the official dates of recession. Real manufacturing and trade sales includes sales at all three level, manufacturing, wholesale and retail so it is reasonable to think of this as a proxy for real goods GDP.
Note that the peak for this indicator was November, two months before the January peak in industrial production. This data series is showing a decline that looks fairly normal for the last few recessions. The drop in industrial production has not been as steep largely for two reasons. One, the inventory build has not been as bad this cycle. But the second reason is the most important factor in my opinion and that is because more of the adjustment to weak sales is showing up in the form of weak imports rather than weak domestic output and employment this cycle. .