The Fed's statement last week switched from a May forecast for a moderating economy to a declarative: economic growth is moderating. Now. Unlike a certain past-Fed president, the Fed has no history of alternate meanings for the verb "to be" -- is means is. Fed Chair Ben Bernanke got it dead center: every current-condition datum released this week reflected a slowing economy. Moderately slowing, but slowing, which has held long-term rates just below their highs. This morning's payroll data for June disappointed everyone except bond traders, the actual 121,000 gain less than half of many forecasts. The twin surveys by the purchasing managers' association slid in June, below the May readings and below forecast. Note that this moderation should not be confused with a pre-recession table-edge:...
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