Top-ranked economist Jason Schenker says the U.S. economy is "either in a recession," or what's currently happening with the country's Industrial Production Index hasn't occurred in more nearly a century.
"Based on Industrial Production data, the U.S. is either in a #recession, or it's a first since 1919!," Schenker tweeted on Friday, along with a graphic from the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, showing the index history going back to around that year.
Industrial production, which the Wall Street Journal describes as a "broad gauge of output across U.S. factories, mines and power plants," dropped by 0.6 percent in March. Output has fallen six of the past seven months.
Schenker points out that not since nearly a century ago has output outside of a declared "recession" decreased for seven consecutive months or more, meaning if there isn't an uptick in output by next month, the world's largest economy could be in for even more uncertain times.
Specifically, mining production has decreased in every one of the last seven months, CNBC reported.
The Journal reported the industrial production decline was more drastic than what most economists expected, pointing to reports that have suggested the U.S. manufacturing industry was beginning to pick up steam.
Even so, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. economist Daniel Silver remains optimistic.
“We remain hopeful that the worst of the drags from these factors have passed and that activity will pick up shortly," Silver said.
The news came days after the U.S.' largest coal mining firm, Peabody Energy, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
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