On the surface, many investors and market observers feel that the Fed just recently began to tighten monetary policy with a rate hike in December of last year. However, by looking at the Wu-Xia shadow fed funds rate1, the tightening cycle has been underway for quite a bit longer – since mid-2014, in fact.
With the market swoon to start the year, many investors wondered if we were finally due for a sustained slowdown in the economy or even a recession. After all, since 1926, recessions have happened once every five years on average and it has been over six-and-a-half years since the last one ended.
Well, positive economic growth has continued and the capital markets have actually made a sharp recovery since mid-February. So, does this make a recession even likelier now as more time has passed?