The Top 12 Signs That The U.S. Economy Is Heading Toward Another Recession

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

Is the U.S. economy steamrolling toward another recession?  Will 2014 turn out to be a major "turning point" when we look back on it?  Before we get to the evidence, it is important to note that there are many economists that believe that the United States never actually got out of the last recession.  For example, data compiled by John Williams of show that the U.S. economy has continually been in recession since 2005. 

So if anyone out there would like to argue that America is experiencing a recession right now, I certainly would not have a problem with that.  In fact, that would fit with the daily reality of tens of millions of Americans that are deeply suffering in this harsh economic environment.  But no matter whether we are in a "recession" at the moment or not, there are an increasing number of indications that we are rapidly plunging into another major economic slowdown.  The following are the top 12 signs that the U.S. economy is heading toward another recession...

#1 We recently learned that the number of new mortgage applications in the United States had fallen to the lowest level that we have seen in nearly 20 years.

#2 Radio Shack has announced that it is going to close more than 1,000 stores.  This is just another sign that we are in the midst of a "retail apocalypse".

#3 The ISM Services index just fell to its lowest level in 4 years, and ISM Services Employment just experienced its largest decline since the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

#4 Obamacare is really starting to hammer the U.S. health care industry...

"The Affordable Care Act is creating significant financial uncertainty to health care organizations," said a survey respondent from the health care and social assistance industry.


"With little warning, the negative impact on revenue has been unprecedented."

#5 Trading revenue at the "too big to fail" banks on Wall Street is way down...

Citigroup Inc. (C) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) are bracing investors for a fourth straight drop in first-quarter trading, a period of the year when the largest investment banks typically earn the most from that business.


Citigroup finance chief John Gerspach said yesterday his firm expects trading revenue to drop by a “high mid-teens” percentage, less than a week after JPMorgan Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said revenue from equities and fixed income was down about 15 percent. If trading at the nine largest firms slumps that much, it would extend the slide from 2010’s first quarter to 36 percent.

#6 One of the "too big to fail" banks, JPMorgan, is planning to fire "thousands" more workers.

#7 Moody's has downgraded the credit rating of the city of Chicago again.  Now it is just three notches above junk status.

#8 The U.S. economy actually lost 2.87 million jobs during the month of January according to the unadjusted numbers.  Over the past decade, the only time the U.S. economy has lost more jobs during the month of January was in 2009 at the peak of the last recession.

#9 In January, real disposable income in the U.S. experienced the largest year over year decline that we have seen since 1974.

#10 Only 35 percent of all Americans say that they are better off financially than they were a year ago.

#11 Global retail sales for machinery giant Caterpillar have fallen for 14 months in a row.

#12 The economic data show that virtually all of the largest economies on the planet are slowing down right now.  The following is from a recent Zero Hedge article...

The last 3 weeks have seen the macro fundamentals of the G-10 major economies collapse at the fastest pace in almost 4 years and almost the biggest slump since Lehman. Despite a plethora of data showing that 'weather' is not to blame, US strategists, 'economists', and asset-gatherers are sticking to the meme that this is all because of the cold on the east coast of the US (and that means wondrous pent-up demand to come). However, as the New York Times reports, for the earth, it was the 4th warmest January on record.

For much more on how the rest of the global economy is also slowing down, please see my recent article entitled "20 Signs That The Global Economic Crisis Is Starting To Catch Fire".

Meanwhile, things in Ukraine continue to become even more tense, and the Russian government continues to debate how it will respond if the U.S. does end up deciding to hit Russia with economic sanctions.

According to one Russian news source, the Russian parliament is actually considering the confiscation of the property and assets of U.S. businesses in Russia if the U.S. decides to go ahead with economic sanctions against Russia...

The upper house of Russia’s parliament is mulling measures allowing property and assets of European and US companies to be confiscated in the event of sanctions being adopted against Russia over its threatened military intervention in Ukraine.

We are talking about banks, retail chains, mining operations, etc.

U.S. companies have billions invested in Russia, and all of that could be gone in an instant.

So let us certainly hope that economic war between the United States and Russia is averted.  Our economy is hurting enough as it is.

But no matter how things with this crisis in Ukraine play out, it looks like hard times are ahead for the U.S. economy.

Unfortunately, most Americans never learned the lessons that they should have learned back in 2008.

They just assume that the federal government and the Federal Reserve have fixed our problems and have everything under control, so they are not preparing for the next great crisis.

In the end, tens of millions of Americans will be absolutely devastated when they get absolutely blindsided by what is coming.

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Kirk2NCC1701's picture

SNYDER!  I knew it.

1835jackson's picture

But, but, but the 30 year mortgage rate is at 4.5%! Don't people remember the 80's?....A pig with a gold ring on it's nose is still a big, fat, stinking pig....mmm bacon.

Occident Mortal's picture

Inflation = 1.6%
Population growth = 0.8%

Inflation + population growth = 2.4%

GDP growth = 2.2%

In real per capita terms, yes it's a recession. People are getting poorer.

johngaltfla's picture

The bigger problem is that we are one major disaster, war, financial crisis away from being wiped out as a functioning Repbulic. Being a debtor nation only increases our vulnerability so the next recession could kill more than just the Contitution, but one hell of a lot of sheeple.

We are One Headline away from No Gold or Silver Availability

Anusocracy's picture

Of course the American public remains blissfully stupid.

And you can't fix stupid.

zaphod's picture

The american public remains stupid because they don't see anything wrong due to the massive money printing happening behind the scenes. This includes FED printing and debt creation that totals over $1T/yr of artificial support.

If the US enters another major recession the central planners will have limited options this time since they already have the printing and debt presses running at full speed. Seriously what do you do if there is a major recession WHILE you are already printing $85B/m and same in debt creation? If you only maintain then things crash, if you jump to $500B/m and more debt creation people abandon the dollar. In short they're boxed in this time.

The american public will not understand what happened and why their living standard is reduced, and then vote for the worst people to "fix" it. Some legacy to the people who built the place.

Skateboarder's picture

I think LawsOfPhysics would agree with me, that awareness of the existence and lifecycle of unfunded liabilities is an important step of having economic systems without negative feedback cycles like [unregulated] derivatives.

Mister Kitty's picture

This is a deflationary recession.  Inflation doesn't exist in this environment.  Merely a few bubbles along the way.

StychoKiller's picture

The truly sad part is how much of this clusterfsck was foreseen decades ago:

"Dreams Come Due:  Government and Economics as if Freedom Mattered," by
John Galt, ISBN:  0-671-61159-3, Simon * Schuster, 1986

TruthInSunshine's picture

Let me give the biggest reason - the Global Corpocracy that OWNS governments (and their alleged representative politicians) now derives its income stream increasingly from a turnover of taxes paid by the serfs.

In other words, governments are increasingly going into further & deeper debt, burdening current & future citizens with massive debt, as extortion paid to the banks, defense contractors, technology companies that are wed to entities such as the NSA, etc., because corporations controlled by the MONEY MASTERS, both public & privately held, HAVE COMPLETELY & DEEPLY CAPTURED GOVERNMENTS, DESTROYING ANY NOTION OR POSSIBILITY OF "THE SOVEREIGN NATION-STATE."

AlaricBalth's picture

12 Signs the US is heading for recession.

Thank goodness.

Just 2 months ago Mike Snyder said there were 20 signs the global economic crisis was catching fire.

I'm so relieved its just a recession.

Skateboarder's picture

This one time Snyder had like 38 signs and I damn near had a heart attack.

prains's picture

who needs 12 FUCKING SIGNS !!!

look in the mirror

candyman's picture

Now I know what it feels like to be Robert Prechter.

LetThemEatRand's picture

For fuck's sake, another article pointing to fundamentals?  The oligarchs have taken control and they intend to own us all.  They won already.  Does anyone believe that it is a coincidence that in the last 12 months we've had almost all of the major world powers all pretend to want to fight each other in a hot war?    

Baby Eating Dingo22's picture

If a fake economy falls into a recession, would the recession also be fake?



LetThemEatRand's picture

We're already in a depression.  Fewer people were taking handouts in the '30's versus today.  History doesn't repeat and it doesn't always rhyme.  This is a new age and the guys running the show have more power than any tyrant ever had before because the people have no idea they are being lorded over.

N2OJoe's picture

If a fake economy crashes in the woods, does it really make a sound?

Doubleguns's picture

Its not a fake f--king so it cant be all fake. 

Berspankme's picture

Anybody notice price of food lately- milk is up like 30% here and beef is up about 15%. Inflation is 1.6%? KMA

Sofa King's picture

No shit, I just spent $10 for a fucking roll of Aluminum Foil.

Besides, the first heads up that we're in a tailspin was the Starbucks miss. That's how shit started the last time.

NoDebt's picture

That's for your benefit.  It's to help you avoid becoming obese and driving up heath insurance costs, comrade.

Bonapartist's picture

noticing a lot of people in casual conversations mentioning(without prompting) that they don't believe the govt's/media BS "Happy Days Are Here Again" song-and-dance

zionhead101's picture


If you ain't working for the GUBMINT and you ain't sitting on a GOLD-PLATED pension with an annuity value of +$10MILLION US Dollars then your life be fucked forever.


The only people who don't know the USA is collapsing are the people in the USA.

Synder lists symptoms, but NEVER the CAUSE.

First order is that the USA is a fucking COLONY, ran by Mother-Ship in Tel-Aviv, and they only care about two exports from said colony, other wise those that run the colony can do as they wish.

1.) Mercenary Army available anywhere anytime, Israel can have US-MIL troops deployed anywhere on the face of the earth anytime.

2.) USA FIAT to infinite, fed to ISRAEL clients banks worldwide all off book, trouble the USD is looking more and more like toilet paper everyday.


The SIGNS are the there allegiance is there for those with the GOLD PENSIONS, the LOYALTY is there.

Butt, and this is the BIG BUTT ISRAEL knows it needs a NEW source of REAL MONEY as income to feed and house God's Chosen people living in Tel-Aviv luxury beach front condos.

This is where EURO's come in, in the last act before the closing of the USA pig-trough, Israel wants to steal SYRIA/UKRAINE so they can sell SAUDI-OIL to EUROPE and have EURO income forever post US Dollar collapse.

Everything else is SHOW, ... follow the desire for EUROS


A  fool might ask why doesn't ISRAEL just force the world to trade in SHEKELS? Becuase Israel ain't stupid, they don't want to be reserve-currency, but once the IMF-SDR goes on line in the distant future, then that will be there source of FIAT to INFINITY forever,

But either way the USA is going CIVIL-WAR hell, and everything there will BURN.

NoDebt's picture

Damn, I missed you while you were away, Francis, you beautiful anti-semitic bastard!  I'll give you this:  there's at least no question about where you stand on things.

zionhead101's picture

My own tribe references people such as myself as "Self Hating Jews", but you can label anybody anything they wish.

I don't wish to insult anybody, just talk TRUTH,

If we don't peel back the onion, and deal with the core problems, if we only discuss tertiary symptoms, then you will spin your wheels forever.


There are a lot of people who are OPPOSED to Zionism, in the Semitic world, we are NOT a minority. It is the Zionists who are a minority in number, but MAJORITY in leveraged FIAT.

TheRedScourge's picture

One is wise to trust self-hating Jews as far as they can throw them, regardless of what they're saying, and regardless of what ones personal opinion of Jews is. Ayn Rand is the closest thing to a redemption their kind has ever produced, but even that falls far short.

Lin S's picture

Allow me to summarize (yet another) Michael Snyder summary full of summaries for you:

Did you know it's bad out there?  It is so bad out there!  People are hurting out there! 

Check this out:

1. (Insert USA Today statistic here)

2. (Insert Fox News statistic here)

3. (Insert quoted text with link to World Net Daily essay here)

4, 5, 6, etc...

Boy oh boy, it's going to be bad!  So bad!  Things can't go on like this much longer, no Siree!  We'd better pray!



Lin S's picture

I don't.  And who needs to?  His crap plays like a broken record, it's always the same.

But I came to ZH to escape half-wit, puerile fear-porn. 

My bad.

Bugman82's picture

I've seen the many charts, heard the banter for more than 3 years, watched the ZeroHedge site visits nosedive as they point out the CNBC viewership drops, and my 403(b) continues to garner massive profits.  I think I'll continue investing for retirement.

The Capitalist Review's picture

You're a regular genius.

So said the tools in the '97-March 2000 period. So said the brilliant 04-Oct. 07 regular joe blow with his entire net worth split between his house and 401k.

The great thing about people like you is that it feels so good to watch the turkey go to slaughter. I hope you're right 99% of the time so that the 1% of the time you're wrong, you're wiped out.

Bugman82's picture

No, the greatest thing is that in any 20 year period the worst return was 2.5% (1928)

Ness.'s picture

 A 403(b) plan is a U.S. tax-advantaged retirement savings plan available for public education organizations, some non-profit employers (only Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3) organizations), cooperative hospital service organizations, and self-employed ministers in the United States

You better retire tomorrow kiddo.  Placing your faith in the public teacher pension system, hospices, non-profits and self employed ministers is no way to go though life, son.



BeetleBailey's picture

OK douchebag.....'s not what you make, it's what you keep.

Good fucking luck in retirement, Magoo

WhyWait's picture

1. This country seriously needs an unemployed movement, millions of angry organized unemployed folk raising hell together and demanding action.  For some reason that idea hasn't taken hold this time around.  But it needs to.  Seriously. It's way overdue. If the people who are getting crushed don't organize and push back, where's the bottom?

2. The people on this list have the skills and anger - and an important piece of the understanding - to help organize the unemployed.  Most however are preparing for the next collapse and most of those will at least have enough set aside to go on being players in the game at some level.  That's ok.  Hopefully we'll meet on the same side of the barricades.

3. You however, Bugman 82, may be just the man we're looking for. You're age 32, right?  Full of testosterone, adrenaline and indoctrination, and you're likely about to suffer a traumatic episode of cognative dissonance. Because it sounds like you're on track to get completely wiped out, because you refused to read the signs or listen.  You'll be outraged because it wasn't supposed to happen, your whole world turned upside down, and oh, oh you do hate being wrong, don't you!    

When you finally realize this is not just another temporary setback from which you can come bounding back; when you hit rock bottom, your home, your car, your wife and kids gone; and when you pick up a flyer at the soup kitchen for an unemployed meeting and show up to check it out; if by some chance you happen to find me there, I promise, I swear, I will never, ever say "I told you so."  It will be just "welcome brother, welcome to the legions of the screwed. Pull yourself together man, we need you here!"


The_Ungrateful_Yid's picture

Another recession? Fucking never left the previous one(s).

Bosch's picture

Please, lets not extrapolate any macroeconomic trends based off of fucking Radio Shack. 

Praetorian Guard's picture

It will shit out. We never left the first one, or even the roller coaster of madness since the 80's and 90's... Better have guns, grub and gold !!!!!!!

_SILENCER's picture

Maybe we'll all get lucky and be able to solve this problem by watching an important, soon to be removed, Porter Stansbury video or One Weird Trick.

fonzannoon's picture

Fucking Radio Shack? Really?

Can this guy mail it in any worse?

Dr. Engali's picture

Great another fucking crappy ass list. Steamrolling to another recession? We haven't made it out of the 2000 depression yet. Does 47 million American families on snap and a 63.2% workforce participation rate suggest anything but a depression ?

Kina's picture

I agree. The recession never left, only the TPTB description of it.

The recession is permanent and is the new normal. The transition taking place will continue. The US will become a nation of part time workers with a lower class lifestyle. They will need to do this for a generation until debts are reduced and the game can be played again.


moneybots's picture

"Before we get to the evidence, it is important to note that there are many economists that believe that the United States never actually got out of the last recession."


If you subtract debt, for the most part GDP has not grown since 1980. All is a debt based illusion.

Within the debt based illusion, the economy has grown since mid 2009, despite 47 million on food stamps and 10%+ real unemployment. 


moneybots's picture

#7 Moody's has downgraded the credit rating of the city of Chicago again.  Now it is just three notches above junk status.


It's even that high?

logicalman's picture

You can only have 'another' recession after the previous one has 'supposedly' ended.


hadn't read moneybots, but I think we are saying the same thing.

highwaytoserfdom's picture

403(b)  is Democratic wolf watching sheep and discussing dinner...    The first to go..