The strong growth rebound since the depth of the COVID-19 related economic crisis in 2020 may soon moderate in several major economies according to the latest OECD Composite leading indicators (CLIs).
The CLIs, which are driven by factors such as order books, confidence indicators, building permits, long-term interest rates, new car registrations and many more, are cyclical indicators designed to anticipate fluctuations in economic activity over the next six to nine months. The OECD CLIs in November and December 2021 signalled the approach of a post-pandemic growth peak and the latest CLIs suggest that peak has now passed in several major economies.
Among major OECD economies, a drop in momentum is visible in the latest CLIs for Canada, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom. In Japan and the Euro Area as a whole, the CLIs signal stable growth, though the peak in the indicators has also passed. In the United States, the CLI also indicates stable growth, although the CLI level is now below its long-term trend. In France, stable growth around trend seems in prospect.
Major emerging-market economies, the CLI for Russia continues to rise though signs of moderating growth have now emerged. The CLI for China (industrial sector) continues to point to a loss of momentum and has now dropped below its long-term trend. In India, the CLI continues to OE 4
Persisting uncertainties from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, notably from the impact of the Omicron variant on recent monthly indicators, may result in higher than usual fluctuations in the CLI and its components. As such, the CLIs should be interpreted with care at this time and their magnitude should be regarded as an indication of the strength of the signal, rather than a precise measure of anticipated growth in economic activity.