About This Site

My name is Emmanuel Teitelbaum. I am an associate professor of political science and international affairs at The George Washington University.

The inspiration for this little side project is pretty simple. When I read bad news about the economy, I am frequently left wondering “Well, how close to recession are we?” To help answer this question, I thought it would be useful to put together some charts of some interactive plots of the very best recession indicators.

In selecting indicators, I looked for those that seemed to have the most predictive power with the fewest false positives. I also looked for a balance of leading and lagging indicators. The result was the set of one dozen indicators that you see here.

The data for the graphs is downloaded via an API from FRED, a very large database of economic indicators maintained by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. It is an amazing free resource that I highly recommend if you are interested in economic data.

The graphs were built using plotly and ggplot2 in RStudio.

I am grateful to the team at Themefisher for their help in crafting the custom Hugo theme for the site.

If you have any ideas for improving the site, please let me know. In the meantime, enjoy the charts!