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by CareyBot

To "V" or not to "V" ... that is the question. The optimists see the steep far side, the middle-roaders see bottom nearby, and the skeptics see the economy still declining, just slower, with possible multiple bottoms ahead. A 0.4 percent drop in April retail sales was less than the 1.3 percent dive in March, but the weakness still surprised the optimists, who are happy today with an "only" 0.5 percent decline in April industrial production. That is the smallest decline since October, but "capacity in use" fell 0.3 percent to a new post-Depression low of 69.1 percent. The high week for new unemployment claims was April 4, with 668,000 ex-workers filing, and the cycle claims-top often precedes the recession bottom by a couple of months. Fro...