Are we in a recession? "We" in this case only refers to the United States (for now, because data is easy to get). While there are many definitions for what constitutes a recession, the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank National Activity Index (CFNAI) is a good monthly indicator, which represents current economic activity, where past recessions periods have coincided with its three-month moving average falling below -0.7.
Using this moving average, we see: We are not in a recession.
Using a basic logistic regression on the monthly CFNAI indicator's underlying components (85 factors rolling up into production/income, consumption/housing, employment, and sales), we can estimate a probability of currently being in a recession.
We are not in a recession, with a probability of 97 percent.
Adding time lags to independent variables as far as 12 months ago, we can attempt to capture some trends instead of just deciding from today's values.
We are currently not in a recession with a probability of 94 percent.
While we can't predict the future, we know what the events leading up to past recessions looked like. By adding a forward lag to past recession periods, we can try to estimate the probability of a recession happening at any point in the next 12 months.
Imminent recession is unlikely, with a probability of 58 percent.