Are Earnings Trends Telegraphing The Start Of A Global Recession?

The following chart illustrates that the earnings trend for S&P 500 companies, measured by 12-month trailing earnings, has sharply deteriorated and was barely above zero in Q2 (FactSet numbers for Q2 were -0.7%).

For the companies in the MSCI AC (All Country) index, earnings shrank by 7%.

The last time we had similar global earnings trends was at the beginning of the ’01 recession and the Great Recession.

Global Earnings & Recessions

Source: Economics and Strategy at Bank National Financial 

However FactSet now estimates S&P 500 Q3 earnings growth of -5.9%.

The last time earnings of the companies in the MSCI AC were shrinking like this without a recession was in 1993.

The last time earnings of the S&P 500 companies were close to zero without a recession was in 1998.

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Author: Travis Esquivel

Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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