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Last Updated : Aug 19, 2019 02:31 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

This economist is watching Japanese whiskey prices to portend a US recession

Wells Fargo Corporate Economist Richard DeKaser highlighted that increasing demand for high-end consumer products usually marks the business cycle peak, which often precedes a recession

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A surge in Japanese whiskey prices might be an offbeat indicator of a looming economic recession in the US, according to a column published in Inc.com.

Most economists predict a US recession within the next two years, according to a survey by the National Association for Business Economists (NABE).

Wells Fargo Corporate Economist Richard DeKaser highlighted that increasing demand for high-end consumer products usually marks the business cycle peak, which often precedes a recession.

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DeKaser observed that in Washington DC, the cost of Suntory’s Hibiki and the higher-end Yamazaki has risen, Graham Winfrey, Senior Editor at Inc.com, said in the column.

A bottle of Hibiki, which sold for $90 earlier, is now priced at $130. Yamazaki currently costs nearly $180, up from $100 previously.

"I can't help being piqued at the observation casually after walking into a liquor store," DeKaser said, as quoted by the business news website. "I don't think I'm alone in this. I think most economists start asking why," he added.

The economist clarified that anecdotes are no substitute for data analysis and economic indicators. But he said that he pays attention to anecdotal signals since economists do not have a great track record of predicting recessions.

Japanese whiskey is becoming increasingly popular in the US. Chichibu, another brand of Japanese whiskey, sold 416 bottles five seconds after it was available online.

On August 14, the Dow Jones Industrial Average recorded its biggest single-day loss since October 2018 amid fears of a recession. A drop in US Treasury yields caused the yield curve to invert, often considered a harbinger of a recession.

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First Published on Aug 19, 2019 02:31 pm

tags #Economy #US

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