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One measure of the current rate of expansion/contraction of the economy is the purchasing managers' index.
There are several of these, but one is the "composite".

The PMI (R) is a composite index based on the diffusion indexes of five
of the indexes with equal weights: New Orders (seasonally adjusted),
Production (seasonally adjusted), Employment (seasonally adjusted),
Supplier Deliveries (seasonally adjusted), and Inventories.


For a given calendar month the data come out a few days into the following month.
This is one source for historical data
https://www.quandl.com/data/ISM/MAN_PMI-PMI-Composite-Index

This seems to be a very weak predictor of market prices, except at extremes.
The numbers since August 1976 have ranged from 29.4 to 69.9.

Annualized rate of real total return for the S&P 500, starting from a release date, since then:

          Forward      Forward       Forward
3 months 6 months 12 months

<42 24.6% 27.9% 20.7% (6.3% of the time, so bad it's good)
42-59.5 9.2% 8.6% 7.3% (normal times)
59.5+ -5.4% -2.2% 3.3% (6.8% of the time, so good it's bad)


The latest reading is 64.7.
Other than a couple of months at the end of 1983, that's the highest reading since a stretch in 1973.

Of course, things could roar for a while yet. Heaven knows there's enough stimulus sloshing around.
But these figures suggest that short term market peaks are sometimes found vaguely around the same time as growth peaks.

Jim
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