KEY DATA:  PPI: +0.5%; Goods: 1.4%; Services: 0.1%/ Sentiment: +6.2 points; Current Conditions: +5.3 points; Expectations: +6.8 points

IN A NUTSHELL: “With $2.8 trillion of government stimulus flooding the economy this year, growth is no longer the issue, inflation is.”

February Employment Situation and January Trade Deficit

KEY DATA:  Payrolls: +379,000; Private +465,000; Restaurants: +286,000; Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (down from 6.3%); Wages: +0.2%/ Deficit: up $1.2 billion; Exports: +1%; Imports: +1.2%

IN A NUTSHELL: “The loosening of restrictions is leading to a massive rehiring of workers in those sectors most harmed by the pandemic.”

WHAT IT MEANS:  The pandemic has played havoc with so much of the world and the economic data reflect the ups and downs of the closures, restrictions and reopenings.  We are now in the positive portion of the process and those sectors that were hurt the most are starting to come back.  Payrolls soared in February, at least in the private sector.  Government employment, especially education, cratered.  Still, the overall increase was well above expectations and the gains were pretty widespread.  Fifty-seven percent of the private sector industries had higher employment.  The biggest increase, not surprisingly, was in leisure and hospitality, especially restaurants.  Three-quarters of the total job surge and over sixty percent of the private sector increase came from food service hiring.  Nevertheless, there are still two million fewer restaurant workers on the payrolls than there were in February 2020, just before the pandemic hit.  There were lots of jobs added in manufacturing, health care, retail, temp services, amusement parks and hotels.  Construction was the one private sector component where payrolls were cut sharply.  I am not sure why, but the polar vortex may have played a role in that decline.

As for the unemployment situation, the rate declined modestly, in part because the labor market was largely flat.  The average hourly wage rose moderately, but with the workweek declining sharply, weekly wages fell. 

The trade deficit widened in January, but that is typical of an economy that is growing solidly.  Both export and imports increased, which is what you want to see.  Since import levels are significantly higher than exports, you need export growth to greatly exceed imports for the deficit to narrow.  With the U.S. expanding more rapidly than most other industrialized nations, we should expect the deficit to keep widening for an extended period. 

IMPLICATIONS:  As the vaccines begin to work their magic and businesses and households become confident they can get back to whatever will be the next normal, job growth should remain strong.  But we have a long way to go.  Payrolls are about 9.5 million lower than they were a year ago and the unemployment rate is 2.7 percentage points higher. The issue is how quickly does the unemployment rate come down and where do we wind up at the end of the year.  That is critical since it is likely that the upcoming stimulus bill will be the last stimulus bill.  Thus, businesses will eventually have to start making money the old-fashioned way: They will have to earn it rather than being supported by Uncle Sam.  And household wage gains, not stimulus money, will have to drive income growth and spending.  The reckoning has been pushed off until 2022, when hopefully the pandemic will be largely under control and many firms that are currently nothing more than zombies can operate without the crutch of government welfare.  We will be left with a massive budget deficit and national debt load, but we will have had much stronger economic growth and the unemployment rate will be way below where it would have been without the stimulus funds. Still, it is likely the unemployment rate will be about two percentage points higher at the end of this year than it was when the pandemic hit.  The heavy lifting will come in a year, when the private sector has to take over and the sectors that had been restricted are already operating freely.  But let’s enjoy what should be a really good ride this year, thanks to what is likely to be a huge, if not excessive, third stimulus package. 

February Private Sector Jobs and NonManufacturing Activity

KEY DATA:  ADP: +117,000; Manufacturing: -14,000/ ISM(Nonmanufacturing): -3.4 points; Orders: -9.9 points; Employment: -2.5 points

IN A NUTSHELL: “It looks like the economy may have been caught up in the polar vortex in February.”

WHAT IT MEANS:  While it is pretty clear the economy has been accelerating, it looks it hit a pothole in February.  On Friday, we get the first glimpse of the government’s estimate of job gains in February.  Today, the employment services firm ADP released its closely watched measure of private sector hiring, and the February increase was somewhat disappointing.  The total increase was about half of what was expected.  The details were a mixed bag.  A couple of the sectors hit the hardest by the shutdowns, retails and leisure and hospitality, appear to be coming back.  There were also solid increases in health care and business and professional services.  But two sectors that look to be leading the way, construction and manufacturing, posted declines in their payrolls.  As for what size firms are adding workers, it looks like the gains are being spread across all categories.  None of them were high, though the small and large companies were somewhat cautious in their hiring.

Meanwhile, the long-suffering services portion of the economy may have hit another temporary bump in the road.  The Institute for Supply Management’s NonManufacturing index dropped in February and the details were disappointing as well.  While demand continued to improve, it did so at a much slower pace.  Inventories built rapidly, but they are viewed as too high.  Finally, the cost of doing business is skyrocketing as prices paid jumped. 

IMPLICATIONS:It really looks like the economy is in very good shape.  Incomes are soaring as a consequence of the stimulus checks going out and most reports have manufacturing and construction going like gangbusters.  So, why did the February data released today raise some questions about conditions?  My guess is that is just a weather thing.  The polar vortex devastated that middle half of the country, freezing out business activity all the to the Gulf of Mexico.  Texas was a disaster.  But the cold has moved back up north and businesses are reopening and the repairing of the damage has begun.  That negative impacts were concentrated in the February data, but the recovery should show up in the March numbers so look for those to be really strong. But the warning is that the frigid weather could have led to layoffs and limited hiring, so Friday’s job gain may be less than hoped for.  The consensus is for something around 200,000 and that might turn out to be high.  But all that does, as just noted, is set us up for a sharp rebound in March, so don’t get worried if the headline number is disappointing.  More importantly, even with the clearly improving economic situation, another massive stimulus bill, with lots of free money for everyone, looks like it will be passed within the next two weeks.  That will add fuel to the slowly building fire and growth this year should be really strong.  Investors will likely spend the rest of the year battling over slowly rising inflation and interest rates versus robust growth.  As long as the Fed keeps downplaying the inflation risk, growth should retain the upper hand.

February Manufacturing Activity and January Construction

KEY DATA: ISM (Manufacturing): +2.1 points; Orders: +3.7 points; Employment: +1.8 points/ Construction: +1.7%

IN A NUTSHELL: “The economy is starting to shift into higher gear.”

WHAT IT MEANS: A slowdown from the massive summer rebound was expected and it did happen to some extent. But it looks like the economy, helped along by the second round of stimulus, is picking up some steam. In February, the Institute of Supply Managers’ manufacturing activity index rose to its highest level in three years and the details were just as strong. The new orders measure jumped as fewer firms reported a decline in demand and a rising proportion said orders were higher over the month. This improvement is broad based as only 6.4% of the respondents indicated demand has softened. As a consequence, production accelerated and hiring increased. With order books filling, it looks like we could see manufacturing take a place as a leading sector of growth.

Construction is also did extremely well starting off the year. Spending on public and private, residential and nonresidential building rose strongly in January. In other words, everywhere. About the only really weak link was private commercial construction. With uncertainty about the extent to which work from home will be sustained, that component is likely to be soft for some time.

IMPLICATIONS: It’s starting to look like first quarter growth could exceed the strong, 4.1% growth in the fourth quarter of last year. Much of that can be credited to the reopening of the federal government’s stimulus spigot, which sent money flowing to businesses and households. Consumption is surging even with households saving much of the funds. That okay because it means they are better able to continue shopping like crazy. And round 3 of stimulus is coming soon. No matter what the final number is, it will be big. The markets got a little spooked last week by rising interest rates, but that is because too many people actually thought the ridiculously low level of rates could be sustained. Maybe the Fed will remain on hold for another couple of years, but if growth this year hits the consensus of about 4.5%, there is little logic in thinking the low, longer-term rates could be sustained. With that kind of growth, inflation had to start rising back toward more normal levels from the low rate posted as a result of the pandemic. But we are not talking high inflation; just levels that reflect a solidly growing economy. As I noted many times before, a 10-year rate below 1% made little sense when the Fed was determined to get back to an average of 2% inflation. Yes, housing may moderate, but once again, does anyone think a 3% or 3.5% 30-year fixed rate mortgage is high? We are looking at an economy that is picking up steam and the government turning up the heat with a new stimulus bill. If that doesn’t help investors overcome their fear of returning to normal interest rates, I don’t know what will.

January Income and Spending and February Consumer Sentiment

KEY DATA:  Disposable Income: +11.4%; Consumption: +2.4%; Savings Rate: 20.5%; Prices (Over-Year): +1.5%/ Sentiment: -2.2 points; Expectations: -3.3 points; Current Conditions: -0.5 point

IN A NUTSHELL: “The checks are no longer just in the mail, they are being cashed and spent.”

WHAT IT MEANS:  Let’s hear it for Uncle Sam.  The government’s December stimulus checks got largely distributed in January and it led to a massive rise in household income.  No surprise there as the only other time we saw an increase in disposable/spendable personal income that large was last April, when the first round of stimulus checks went out.  Unfortunately, if it weren’t for the government, the rise in income would have been modest, as wage and salary increases were nothing great.  That shows, again, how much the economy depends upon the federal government’s largesse.  Also, as expected, households spent some, but hardly all of that money.  As a consequence, the savings rate skyrocketed, to the second highest level on record.  When was the highest?  You guessed, last April, of course.  As for inflation, the Personal Consumption Expenditure deflator, the Fed’s preferred measure, rose fairly strongly for the second consecutive month. Over the year, though, inflation remains tame, even when food and energy are excluded.

The checks may be hitting people’s bank accounts, but they are not making them very exuberant about economic conditions.  The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index declined in February.  Expectations fell the most.  Both the future outlook and current conditions measures are at disturbingly low levels.    

IMPLICATIONS:  The second round of government money is doing its job: It is bolstering spending and given how much was distributed, it is creating a cushion for future spending for some households.  Without the welfare being paid out, the economy would be limping along.  Instead, we could see growth in excess of 4% both this quarter, and if the next stimulus round is as big as projected, for the entire year.  But we need to see wage and salary gains start accelerating.  The stimulus checks create a one- or two-month surge in income, but labor income eventually has to be the key source of funds used to sustain growth.  However, salaries are increasing at a pace that would only support mediocre growth.  And many families are still stretched, so the jump in consumption in January will not be repeated.  All this says is that to get to the end of this year, when hopefully the economy will can reopen fully, we need a large amount of government support.  To those who ask, “Can we afford it”, I respond by asking “Can we afford not to spend the money?”  Without the stimulus, the sluggish growth coming out of the Great Recession would probably look great.  Since we really don’t know how much is enough, the real question remains: “Which mistake would you prefer making, spending too little and having a substandard economy or spending too much and possibly creating higher than desired inflation?”  You can control inflation.  But as we saw during the 2010s, too little stimulus leads to growth that doesn’t make many households feel very good. 

Durable Goods Orders, Pending Home Sales and Weekly Jobless Claims

KEY DATA:  Durables: +3.4%; Civilian Aircraft: +390%; Ex-Aircraft: +1.1%; Capital Spending: +0.5%/ Pending Sales: -2.8%; Over-Year: +13%/Claims: -111,000

IN A NUTSHELL: “There seems to be exuberance entering into business planning as capital spending is really starting to boom.”

WHAT IT MEANS:  The massive tax cuts businesses received didn’t lead to a whole lot more investment spending and the pandemic slowed things even more.  But that is changing dramatically.  Orders for big ticket items rose solidly in January, led by a surge in both civilian and defense aircraft demand.  Boeing is starting to recover and that is showing up in the data.  But even if you remove aircraft orders, purchases of big-ticket items was still up sharply.  There was some weakness in communications equipment orders and, to a lesser extent, motor vehicles, but otherwise, the rise in demand was pretty much widespread.  The really key number, nondefense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, the proxy for business investment spending, rose strongly once again.  There was also a major upward revision to the December increase and the level of orders set its third consecutive record high.

The housing market remains robust.  Yes, the National Association of Realtors reported that pending home sales eased in January.  But the level remains extremely high, indicating that demand for houses will continue to be strong over the next few months. 

Jobless claims posted a huge decline last week, which is the good news.  Indeed, the level was one of the lowest since the pandemic shut things down.  But there are some caveats that go along with the data.  First, the level, 730,000, remains extraordinarily high.  Second, it is not clear how much the brutal weather affected new claims.  Third, the December stimulus bill, which refreshed the funding, led to a large uptick in the pandemic emergency program, which is where small business owners/gig workers apply.  As a consequence, the total number of people receiving assistance surged back over nineteen million.  Conditions are improving, but it isn’t clear how quickly.

Finally, there was a minor revision to fourth quarter GDP growth.  It is now estimated to have been 4.1%, not 4%.  There was really little new in the revisions.   

IMPLICATIONS:  Businesses have become exuberant and with the government soon to pass a new, massive stimulus bill and the Fed promising to keep the liquidity tap wide open for a really long time, there is every good reason to believe the optimism is not irrational.  The stimulus funding and asset purchases have been so large that they have overcome the negative impacts of the pandemic.  By sometime during the summer we should have wiped out all of the economic decline and GDP will have returned to where it was at the end of 2019.  That is impressive.  But that remind us that we had absolutely no growth for about eighteen months and that raises questions about the level of the equity prices.  Some argue that the relationship between U.S. GDP and the value of stocks is less relevant since much of the earnings come from overseas operations.  That may be true, but the U.S. has recovered a lot faster than other countries and is likely to have faster growth this year than much of the rest of the industrialized world.  Can we get enough earnings from U.S. operations to support the equity values?  And then there is the issue of how much longer the funding can continue at the levels we have seen?  Keynesian economics is alive and well in the U.S., as the economy is largely dependent on the free money and liquidity being provided by the federal government and the Fed.  However, even now, the Biden administration is trying to develop a mechanism to slow and ultimately end the massive flow of cash to businesses and households.  When that happens, what happens?  It may be too early to consider that issue, but it needs to be in investors’ minds as we move through the year.

January New Home Sales

KEY DATA:  Sales: +4.3%; Prices (Over-Year): +5.3%

IN A NUTSHELL: “With demand for housing so strong and supply so low, it is likely we will see housing starts rise for quite a while.”

WHAT IT MEANS: Last week, the housing starts reports indicated that construction was down in January.  But I commented that was likely to be a temporary decline as permit requests soared.  Today’s January new home sales numbers support the view that home construction should continue to support the recovery.  Demand was up solidly, with only the Northeast reporting a decline.  The level of sales moved back to the robust pace posted in the summer and early fall, when the “get me out of the city as soon as possible” movement was at its greatest.  In addition, the December number was revised upward sharply, indicating that there really was no major softening in the market.  What is remarkable is that sales are so high given that the supply of homes on the market remains at some of the lowest levels we have ever seen.  Indeed, we are pretty close to the lowest points posted during the housing bubble. 

As for home prices, they are still rising solidly.  When it comes to the median price of new homes, the change is very dependent on what segment of the market is getting the most attention from home builders.  Most of the other home price indices are rising near or at double-digits.  Yesterday, the Case-Shiller National Home Price Index report showed another surge in December and for the year, were up 10.4%.  The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s monthly purchase index rose 11.4% between December 2019 and December 2020.    IMPLICATIONS:Strong demand, a shortage of supply and rapidly rising prices is the perfect combination of factors that should convince builders that now remains a really good time to get the shovels in the ground.  Indeed, the surge in permit requests makes it clear that residential construction, which has been a key driver of the recovery, will continue to lead the way for quite a while.  About the only concern on the construction horizon is mortgage rates.They have started rising but have yet to reflect the increases in longer-term rates.  They should increase going forward, though I don’t expect any gap up in mortgage rates as the decline didn’t reflect the absurdly low levels seen last summer in the Treasury markets.  That doesn’t mean the pathway will be smooth.  There was pretty decent weather in December and January, but February has been brutal – and it wasn’t just a Texas thing.  So, don’t be surprised if the February housing numbers look ugly.  By when the spring weather kicks in, sales and starts should improve.  We also have to recognize that the December stimulus funds are showing up in household bank accounts and that should help consumer spending.  And, of course, the next stimulus bill is still on track to be passed by mid-March, which would boost consumer finances even more. As long as Uncle Sam the Candy Man keeps funding the sugar high the economy is on, growth should remain quite strong.  Assuming President Biden gets most of what he is wants in the next stimulus bill, it is hard to forecast anything but clear sailing for most if not all of this year.

January Existing Home Sales

KEY DATA:  Sales: +0.6%; 1-Family: +0.2%; Multi: 4.1%; Prices (Over-Year): +11.5%: 1-Family: 12.3%

IN A NUTSHELL: “The housing market just keeps rolling along.”

WHAT IT MEANS:  It was a quiet Friday on the economic data with only existing home sales being released.  But housing has been leading the recovery, so it is important to monitor what happens with sales and construction.  The first of the key January housing numbers indicates that there has been no softening in the market.  The National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales improved in January, led by a solid gain in condo and coop construction.  Single-family demand increased minimally.  The overall sales level is nearly 24% above what it was in January 2020, which was before the pandemic hit.  Looking across the country, the Midwest and South were up fairly modestly while the declines in the Northeast and West were also limited.  What is most impressive about the report was that the level of demand is holding up despite the lack of homes on the market.  At the current sales pace, the supply is less than two months, which is about one-third what it should be.  As a consequence, home price gains remain in the double-digits. 

IMPLICATIONS: The December stimulus bill is beginning to resupply funds to those households and businesses who have become dependent on government funds and thus we should see some very strong income numbers next week.  But housing is a different story.  Yes, interest rates matter, but the surge in sales and prices is more a consequence of changing locational preferences.  That demand is holding up one year into the pandemic and resulting panic buying is impressive and may point to the housing market having longer legs than many expected.  The sharp rise in housing permits seems to point to builders thinking the same thing.  If starts follow permits, as it usually does, the residential market should keep leading the way.  Next week we get the January income and spending numbers and if they are as strong as expected, we could be in for a very solid first quarter growth number.  And if the third stimulus bill is anywhere near what President Biden has proposed, then the rest of the year should be solid as well.  Basically, Keynes was right: massive government spending works, at least in the short run.  And while many on Wall Street complain about budget deficits, when facing the option of significantly less stimulus and a much slower economy or enormous spending and deficits but strong growth, guess which one they will take?  And the markets reflect that attitude. 

January Housing Starts, Import and Export Prices and Weekly Jobless Claims

KEY DATA:  Starts: -6%; Permits: +10.4%/ Import Prices: +1.4%; Fuel: +7.4%; Exports: +2.5%; Farm: +6%/ Claims: +13,000

IN A NUTSHELL: “The economic data are all over the place, but the picture remains bright for the economy.”

WHAT IT MEANS: Well, it’s time for the good, news/bad news report.  So, let’s start with the mixed one.  Housing starts fell in January as a sharp drop in single-family activity overwhelmed a jump in multifamily building.  Still, the level of new construction remains really solid and the total number of homes currently being built is quite high.  But most importantly, permit requests soared and that means new homes should go up at a faster pace going forward.  The disconnect between starts and permits may be a function of weather.  January data are about as volatile as they get, since snow, cold and a bizarre polar vortex can often create havoc. 

The Fed wants inflation to pick up and it is starting to get what it wished for. Yesterday we saw that wholesale costs rose solidly and today it was reported that import prices surged.  Yes, fuel led the way and will probably keep doing so, given the cold and snow that has hit the country in February.  But even excluding fuel, the cost of foreign products still increased at a very strong pace. Food costs soared, prices of industrial supplies excluding petroleum jumped and vehicle costs edged upward.  But imported consumer goods prices eased a touch, so there may not be a significant rise in the inflation indices.  On the export side, there was similar prices power being shown and farmers benefitted the most.  Over the year, agricultural export prices are up over 9%, an impressive gain.

Weekly jobless claims rose solidly last week, but the headline gain hides one very important fact: The previous week’s number was revised upward by a huge 55,000.  Issues in the vehicle sector may have played a role as chip (computer not potato) shortages have been forcing shutdowns in assembly plants.  Thus, we could see that reversed when the problem is resolved.  Nevertheless, we have been stuck in a range between about 800,000 and 850,000 for four months now and that might not change dramatically anytime soon.  It is hard to see how the unemployment number can continue to decline when so many new workers are filing for government assistance.            IMPLICATIONS:Today’s data had some positives and some negative, but they don’t change the picture of an economy continuing to improve.  The uncertainty remains in the labor market.  Yes, the government keeps telling us that the unemployment rate is coming down and sometimes the decline is sharp, as was the case in January when it declined from 6.7% to 6.3%.  But at the same time, an enormous number of people are still filing for unemployment insurance.  It could be years before some industries get back near to where they had been before the pandemic hit and the nation’s unemployment rate is not likely to get back to the 3.5% unemployment rate we were at early last year for as long as a decade.  The pandemic created change that is real and lasting and with change comes winners and losers.  But the losers rarely can move from one industry or profession to another easily, so there will be an adjustment period that includes elevated unemployment rates.  But we are still in the recovery process, so the short-term looks pretty good.

January Retail Sales, Industrial Production, Producer Prices and February Housing Index

KEY DATA:  Sales: +5.3%; Department Stores: +23.5%: Restaurants: +6.9%; Internet: +11%/ IP: +0.9%; /Manufacturing: +1%/ PPI: +1.3%; Energy: +5.1%/ NAHB: +1 point

IN A NUTSHELL: “The economy picked up steam in January and inflation came along for the ride.”

WHAT IT MEANS:  Remember all those warnings about the economy potentially slowing starting early this year?  Well, never mind.  Retail sales exploded in January as every major component was up.  Indeed, the smallest rise was in supermarkets, which posted a “meager” 2.4% increase.  In a normal month, that would be a surge.  Furniture and electronics and appliances store sales rose double-digits and people ate out like crazy.  There were some relaxing of restrictions, so I can actually understand the restaurant rise.   But department store demand surging by over twenty percent?  Really?  I am just not sure what to make of some of these numbers. 

Industrial production rose solidly in January as the manufacturing sector continues its recovery.  That shows that the improvement is extremely broadly-based.  If it weren’t for a cut back in vehicle assemblies, the increase would have been even bigger.  And that slowing in production occurred despite a rise in sales, so look for vehicle production to bounce back once the parts situation is remedied. 

Everyone seems to be talking about inflation these days and the jump in producer costs may be a reason why.  The Producer Price Index rose sharply in January and not all of it came from increasing energy prices.  Services costs jumped almost as much as goods prices.  Just about every major and minor category posted a rise and those tended to be pretty solid.  The collapse in price brought on by the shutdowns have been wiped out and producer costs are pretty much back to rising at the same pace they were before the pandemic. 

The housing market remains rock solid.  The National Association of Home Builders’ index rose in February after having come down fairly sharply in December and January from its November peak.  Traffic picked up a touch, but future sales faded.  Still, the levels of all the sub-indices continue to be extraordinarily high.  IMPLICATIONS:The only logical explanation for the amazing retail sales numbers is that the second round of stimulus hit and was spent almost immediately.  That is possible, as some people did run out of income due to the politics in Washington.  But many may have had to reapply and that means we could see continued strong consumer purchases. The improvement in the manufacturing sector follows the rise in consumer demand and reinforces the view that as long as government funding flows freely and at a high rate, the economy can continue to recover.The December stimulus bill gets us largely through March and that is the target for the next round.  Since President Biden is intent on getting a major bill through, look for that to happen and for government money to continue to get into the hands of households and businesses.  And that raises questions about inflation: Is it going to rise (yes) and if so, what does that mean for Fed policy (not much)?  The real question facing the bond and equity markets is will inflation pressures force the Fed to make a move earlier than expected.  First of all, as I note just about every month, the pathway from producer prices is winding and usually does not end up where people think it does.  That is, except for a few categories such as food, changes in wholesale costs don’t foretell changes in consumer prices.The inflation pressures, if they arise on a sustained basis, would likely come from retailers, seeing a chance to make up for lost income, raising prices.  Forget the idea that companies will try to maximize sales by keeping prices low.  If they have a chance to increase income by pushing up prices, I expect that they will.  Over the past couple of decades, there have been few periods where firms have had pricing power, and this just might be one of them.  But Fed Chair Powell has made it clear that the Fed is willing to run hot for an extended period, which means the real questions are: What is hot and how long is extended.  My view is that if inflation remains below 3.5%, the Fed will not make a move for at least eighteen to twenty-four months. If it remains near or below 3%, the Fed doesn’t have to do anything until it nears its unemployment target.  That could take a very, very long time.  So, while longer-term rates are rising, that is not necessarily a sign of inflation fears.  Did anyone really think a 10-year note somewhere around 1% made any sense when the Fed was making it clear that they wanted to get inflation to average 2%, especially given how long inflation was below 2%?  The 10-year note is still way below where it will be once inflation gets to where the Fed wants it, so don’t be surprised if rates rise steadily for as long as the Fed is willing to run hot.That is, a long time.

Linking the Economic Environment to Your Business Strategy