You Can Always Find Bad News If You Look Hard Enough

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There has been a lot of worry about the dichotomy between the hard data and the soft data. Sentiment data has been soaring but hard economic statistics don’t seem to jive. Or do they? Yes, some major retailers missed their mark but overall consumer discretionary earnings season was a blowout, retail sales are at an all-time high, and the overall earnings growth of the S&P 500 was the best since 3Q2011. Auto sales dialed back since also reaching an all-time high in December but rose last month to above the 17 million mark. Housing starts may fluctuate from month to month but year over year increases have been solidly high single digit increases. Personal incomes have been steadily moving up to all-time highs and wage increases are starting to take root. According to Yogi Berra, “It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” But forecasting gets even trickier when the economy keeps moving forward - expectations get rosier and the bar gets higher, setting the stage for potential disappointment if you don’t step back and take a broader view. Please see the Global Perspectives™ Investment Weekly for the latest economic data update.

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