More Mediocrity

The good: the index of leading economic indicators rose, as did retail sales, consumer sentiment, and housing permits. The bad: Europe is now officially in recession, first-time unemployment claims rose, manufacturing activity declined, inflation as measured four different ways is non-existent, housing starts weakened, and industrial production and capacity utilization both fell more than expected. Data like this is why talk of tapering QE3 before January 2014 is exceptionally unlikely.

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