|1. The BEA data is inconsistent. You can discover this if you compare "download all data" fields with "download data shown" fields. No explanation for this discrepancy is given.|
2. Taking the BEA data as given, investigate line 14, "industrial equipment" series, by computing a cumulative percentage change since 1947. This can be done easily in an Excel spreadsheet. Download the two .CSVs, open in Excel, create a new sheet with contiguous data(you'll have to do a copy - paste.special(transpose) to create a column) . Then, enter a formula like =B4/B3-1+C3 and do a copy paste. Finally, Insert --->Chart--->Line, and you'll get your series graphed. You can expand the graph and delete the legend. What do you see?
3. You see the jig is up. The major uptrend has remained broken even though the series has charged up over the last several years in its usual fashion where usual is defined by similar periods in the past. No biggee. There's many econ time series.data that look like this chart. One could say that the decade has been flat so you can't expect much here either.
4. If one repeats this exercise for each of the component lines one gets some stronger and some weaker. To integrate all of these without simply going for a total which is what NFRI gives you one has to do a stochastic diffusion analysis on the data series. Don't bother. Many of the series show a marked slowing which is reminiscent of previous precursors of trouble.
5. You can look at line 16, "other equipment", which consists primarily of furniture and fixtures, agricultural machinery, construction machinery, mining and oil field machinery, service industry machinery, and electrical equipment not elsewhere classified.Like industrial equipment, it's very worrisome.
6. Which period has the most similarity to 1Q 12? 2Q '79. For example, using "industrial equipment", it occurs around entry 130. The current situation though is much worse since during 2Q '79 we had sky high inflation and interest rates to contain it. FED had something to work with. Now, they can't make anything happen except sky high inflation. How does FED entice buyers of industrial equipment to buy except by creating inflation fueling money?