What happens next in a big economy?

Forecasting the next moves of a big, complex economy is very challenging.  This post about a possible recession demonstrates those challenges well.

Notice, for example, conflicting indicators in this chart:


Industrial production (purple) and personal income ex. transfers (blue) are dipping down, while manufacturing and trade sales (red) and nonfarm payroll employment (green) bode well.  How to assess their relative influence?

Compare with the economists’ survey at the end.

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