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Weekly Indicators: Omicron Bears Down As Interest Rates Signal Changes

New Deal Democrat profile picture
New Deal Democrat


  • High frequency indicators can give us a nearly up-to-the-moment view of the economy.
  • The metrics are divided into long leading, short leading, and coincident indicators.
  • Several interest rate indicators are changing from positive to neutral, as they have failed to make new lows since the beginning of 2021.
  • More urgently, Omicron has caused restaurant reservations to plunge.
  • A de facto economic lockdown may take place in the next few weeks, as so many employees get sick that business must curtail services or close.

A comet, an asteroid, a meteorite falls to the ground against a starry sky. Attack of the meteorite. Meteor Rain. Kameta tail. End of the world. Astranomy.

MARHARYTA MARKO/iStock via Getty Images


I look at the high frequency weekly indicators because while they can be very noisy, they provide a good nowcast of the economy, and will telegraph the maintenance or change in the economy well before monthly

This article was written by

New Deal Democrat profile picture
New Deal democrat As a professional who started an individual investor for almost 30 yeas ago, I quickly focused on economic cycles and the order in which they typically proceed. I have been writing about the economy for nearly 15 of those years, developing several alternate systems that include mid-cycle, long leading, short leading, coincident, lagging and long lagging indicators. I also focus particularly on their effects on average working and middle class Americans.

Analyst’s Disclosure: I/we have no stock, option or similar derivative position in any of the companies mentioned, and no plans to initiate any such positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Seeking Alpha's Disclosure: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. Any views or opinions expressed above may not reflect those of Seeking Alpha as a whole. Seeking Alpha is not a licensed securities dealer, broker or US investment adviser or investment bank. Our analysts are third party authors that include both professional investors and individual investors who may not be licensed or certified by any institute or regulatory body.

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Comments (16)

JohnB Investor profile picture
Omicron is a good thing in numerous ways. This version of the virus is taking over from the much more severe Delta version. There's alarmist articles about the number of cases, but look at the hospitalizations and deaths? They are down, not up.
thumbsoup profile picture
@JohnB Investor Hospitalizations are up.

JohnB Investor profile picture
@thumbsoup True, I was wrong, for the US for hospital patients but not insofar as deaths. Much of the hospital admission might be the delta variant and much of it would be the unvaccinated and uninfected. Regarding the UK and South Africa numbers of hospital patients and deaths does not reflect the increase in the number of cases at all. Again, OMICRON is less serious and it's replacement of DELTA is a good thing.
@New Deal Democrat

Thanks for your continuing updates based empirical data!
Do you ever stop freaking out over COVID? You hysteria is honestly verging on the insane.

I don’t know a single person that is still altering their life because of worry over COVID. We are done with it. Hell, I had it 3 weeks ago. Tested positive for 7 days, negative the 8th, went on with life.

Quit counting cases and go live.
You’ll be much happier.

The pandemic ends when we say it’s over. When we stop freaking out. Until we all grow up, quit acting like kids afraid of the boogeyman, and begin acting with some courage, this will never end.
DV80 profile picture
@Stop Watching Mainstream Propaganda Eventually the Chinese commies are going to cook up a much more severe virus to unleash on the world. When that happens, those who were too scared to enjoy their lives today while they still can will be feeling very foolish and regretful.
thumbsoup profile picture
Thanks for the call out on the movement towards neutral for Long Term indicators.

OpenTable I suppose is a useful measure of almost real-time Covid economic impact. Airline cancellation headlines seem to be the big signal right now. Otherwise the holiday week seems a difficult time period to measure, unless you have data from the same period for 2020. Mobility index data from the two giant smartphone companies, Apple iPhone (maps requests) and Google (location tracking), baselined their data on the upcoming January period.


Small Town Lawyer profile picture
Thanks for your hard work. I appreciate it very much. Don’t let the ignorant partisans discourage you.
New Deal Democrat profile picture
@Small Town Lawyer Thanks! The funny thing is, even if you were to believe that the reaction to Covid is overdone, the big decline in restaurant reservations (like the cancellations of 100s of flights) is real data, i.e., Omicron is nevertheless having a real economic impact. Wouldn’t you want to know that?

On a lighter note, it’s too bad SA doesn’t let us use custom images, because I wanted to use the one of meteors crashing into a city from the end of the “2020/Satan” commercial by Match.com!
Thank you NDD.
The sky is falling the sky is falling the sky is falling the sky is falling
Dr Edward John Gerety III profile picture
You're numbers are lacking key items but your name gives away why:

1. Inflation is driving a reduction in spending as Biden and Democrats' economic policies are choking the life out of the working classes buying power.

2. The government spending and Build Back Better (broke) is causing a hyper inflation and adding stress to the markets.

3. Mandates and fear mongering are driving down sales as Nazi style Vaccine Passports are pushing another sector of the economy into a downward spiral.

4. Those same mandates are forcing the supply-chain to collapse.

5. When the Fed finally stops playing politics and raises rates the economy will take the fast lane to a recession.
Dark Samus profile picture
@Edward John Gerety forever preach!
gbussey profile picture
@Edward John Gerety NDD gave numbers. Do you have numbers?
DV80 profile picture
I’m getting tired of hearing about the damn China virus. It’s all fear mongering now. A healthy person is more likely to get eaten by a shark in a swimming pool than dying from this new Wuhan flu variant.
@DV80 .Not true, my son is a ICU RN at a large metro NY hospital and admissions are way up the last few weeks and yes ,even some younger , healthy people are dying from covid It's unknown if it''s omicron or delta since they don't test that. I don't drink the Government's kool aid and I believe Fauci should be in jail , but this virus is a real threat, stay safe!
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