The Carlyle Group Releases Proprietary U.S. Economic Indicators Derived from Data of Portfolio of 200 Companies to Fill Gap Left by Government Shutdown
Global alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group (CG) today released certain proprietary U.S. economic indicators derived from data gathered from its global portfolio of more than 200 companies that Carlyle believes serve as a reliable proxy for U.S. official data that are not currently reported due to the government shutdown.
Carlyle data are consistent with:
- Retail Sales: up 0.25% in September
- Consumer Price Index: up 1.5% YoY in September
- New Residential Construction: 913,000 housing starts annualized in September
- Durable Goods Orders: $68.6 billion in September
- GDP: up 1.7% in Q3 2013
Carlyle Chief Economist Jason Thomas, PhD., said, “Our economic indicators identify trends and inflection points to help us make better investment decisions. However, several of our monthly data series are highly correlated with, and therefore may serve as reliable proxies for, U.S. official data that are not currently reported due to the government shutdown.”
Over the past several years, Carlyle has developed its own proprietary economic indicators from its global portfolio of more than 200 companies. The firm gathers company data – orders, shipments, occupancy rates, etc. – most synchronized with macroeconomic series like GDP, retail sales and industrial production. Carlyle then formally calibrates these data to official series to estimate, for example, what a 1% increase in telecom equipment orders means for overall business spending.
Details on Each Category of Data:
September Retail Sales
If the Federal Government were open, on Friday, October 11, the Census Bureau would have reported September retail sales. Our data suggest that September retail sales increased at a 0.25% monthly rate in September. This estimate is based on appliance production data derived from a U.S.-based Carlyle portfolio company.
Durable goods spending explains much of the observed variation in total retail sales because the timing of these big ticket purchases is extremely sensitive to consumer confidence. Over the past 33 months, the correlation between the monthly variation in our portfolio company's data and official government retail sales data has been 77.5%. This 0.25% gain follows a 0.2% increase in August and a 0.4% gain in July. Overall, we estimate retail sales are expanding at a 2.6% annual growth rate in real terms.
September Consumer Price Index (CPI)
If the Federal Government is still closed on Wednesday, October 16 the Bureau of Labor Statistics will not report the September Consumer Price Index (CPI). Our data suggest that September CPI was 1.55% higher than in September 2012. This estimate is based on U.S. portfolio data on monthly changes in input prices and transportation costs. Over the last 33 months, the monthly variation in our index of input and transportation costs has explained 79.8% of the variation in the CPI.
September New Residential Construction
If the Federal Government is still closed on Thursday, October 17 the Census Bureau will not report September New Residential Construction. Our data suggest that housing starts are running at a 913,000 annual rate. This estimate is based on demand for lumber used in housing construction taken from a U.S.-based Carlyle portfolio company. Over the last 57 months, Carlyle's proprietary indicator has been 94% correlated with official housing starts.