The Business Cycle

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This sample chart shows the business cycle of the US economy. It is derived from tax data reported by the US Treasury Department, and is updated each business day. Each point on the chart is the year-over-year growth rate of taxes withheld from the paychecks of American workers:

Generating chart…

The data is a simple bean-counting of how much money was collected. It is not estimated, adjusted, or messaged in any way. You are looking at the most-precise depiction of the economic cycle ever invented. Notice how this technique captured the plunge during the recession in 2001, the bottom in late 2002, the expansion up to the top in 2007, the bone-crushing collapse of 2008, and the rebound of 2010.

For an in-depth discussion of this chart, please see the Second Derivative page.

Note: the dip on the chart beginning in 2011 is due to a tax-cut, and does not indicate a downturn in the business cycle.

This chart, and the other sample charts in the public section, update every day, but are delayed by 90 days.