Note: The previous monthly update can be seen in the November 6 article titled "The Probability Of A U.S. Recession - November 2018."
There are a variety of economic models that are supposed to predict the probabilities of recession.
While I don't agree with the methodologies employed or probabilities of impending economic weakness as depicted by the following two models, I think the results of these models should be monitored.
Please note that each of these models is updated regularly, and the results of these - as well as other recession models - can fluctuate significantly.
Currently (last updated December 6, 2018, using data through November), this "Yield Curve" model shows a 15.7683% probability of a recession in the United States 12 months ahead. For comparison purposes, it showed a 14.1197% probability through October, and a chart going back to 1960 is seen at the "Probability Of U.S. Recession Predicted by Treasury Spread." (PDF)
Smoothed recession probabilities for the United States are obtained from a dynamic-factor markov-switching model applied to four monthly coincident variables: non-farm payroll employment, the index of industrial production, real personal income excluding transfer payments, and real manufacturing and trade sales. This model was originally developed in Chauvet, M., "An Economic Characterization of Business Cycle Dynamics with Factor Structure and Regime Switching," International Economic Review, 1998, 39, 969-996.
Additional details and explanations can be seen on the "U.S. Recession Probabilities" page.
This model, last updated on December 3, 2018, currently shows a .58% probability using data through September.
Here is the FRED chart (last updated December 3, 2018):
Data Source: Piger, Jeremy Max and Chauvet, Marcelle, Smoothed U.S. Recession Probabilities [RECPROUSM156N], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, accessed December 10, 2018: Smoothed U.S. Recession Probabilities
The two models featured above can be compared against measures seen in recent blog posts. For instance, as seen in the November 15, 2018, post titled "The November 2018 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey," economists surveyed averaged a 19.55% probability of a U.S. recession within the next 12 months.
The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation.
SPX at 2,633.08 as this post is written.
Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.