Global alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) today released certain proprietary U.S. economic indicators derived from data gathered from its global portfolio of more than 200 companies that Carlyle believes serve as a reliable proxy for U.S. official data that are not currently reported due to the government shutdown. Carlyle data are consistent with:
Retail Sales: up 0.25% in September
Consumer Price Index: up 1.5% YoY in September
New Residential Construction: 913,000 housing starts annualized in September
Durable Goods Orders: $68.6 billion in September
GDP: up 1.7% in Q3 2013
Carlyle Chief Economist Jason Thomas, PhD., said, “Our economic indicators identify trends and inflection points to help us make better investment decisions. However, several of our monthly data series are highly correlated with, and therefore may serve as reliable proxies for, U.S. official data that are not currently reported due to the government shutdown.” Over the past several years, Carlyle has developed its own proprietary economic indicators from its global portfolio of more than 200 companies. The firm gathers company data – orders, shipments, occupancy rates, etc. – most synchronized with macroeconomic series like GDP, retail sales and industrial production. Carlyle then formally calibrates these data to official series to estimate, for example, what a 1% increase in telecom equipment orders means for overall business spending. Details on Each Category of Data:September Retail Sales If the Federal Government were open, on Friday, October 11, the Census Bureau would have reported September retail sales. Our data suggest that September retail sales increased at a 0.25% monthly rate in September. This estimate is based on appliance production data derived from a U.S.-based Carlyle portfolio company. Durable goods spending explains much of the observed variation in total retail sales because the timing of these big ticket purchases is extremely sensitive to consumer confidence. Over the past 33 months, the correlation between the monthly variation in our portfolio company’s data and official government retail sales data has been 77.5%. This 0.25% gain follows a 0.2% increase in August and a 0.4% gain in July. Overall, we estimate retail sales are expanding at a 2.6% annual growth rate in real terms.