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Economics & Research Blog

Recovery Indicators Still Sideways, but Improve in Last Month

The recovery indicators are certainly better at running sideways than up lately,

By Dr. Joe Webb
Published: April 3, 2014

The recovery indicators are certainly better at running sideways than up lately, but they did bounce back since their problems back in February. It's been a bouncy ride going sideways, for sure. (click chart to enlarge)

recovery tracker 040314

The NASDAQ declined slightly since the prior report, but remain significantly higher than the beginning of the recession. The ISM Non-manufacturing report had a modest rebound, with new orders above the level at the recession start and imports pulling even. The manufacturing new orders moved up slightly, as did imports. Proprietors income for Q4-2013 had its final estimate, with a small revision to last month's report, up by +$2 billion. Since its initial Q4 report issued at the end of January, revisions to proprietors income totaled +$6 billion. Regarding the stock market, the Dow and Russell 2000 are above their inflation-adjusted all-time highs, but the S&P 500 still needs to exceed 2100 and the NASDAQ needs to surpass 6500 its high. Patient and steady investors, who dollar-cost averaged through the recession have done very well, benefiting from the volatility of the markets. Around this time in 2009, just before the bottom of the recession, the NASDAQ was at 1600, and it's now 2.6x that. The tops and the bottoms of these markets don't matter, it's what happens in between that does. Steady investing on the way down and on the way up has yielded strongly positive results. The economy still has problems, which the Fed cited in their discussions this week. They will still be in ease mode through most of 2015. Wall Street likes when its punch bowl seems bottomless. # # #

Dr. Joe Webb is one of the graphic arts industry's best-known consultants, forecasters, and commentators. He is the director of WhatTheyThink's Economics and Research Center.



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