In the last 10 days, stocks had improved and interest rates risen during a general relaxation of panic. Even so, unmistakable evidence of faltering recovery has pushed a lot of money back to the safety of bonds, and rates are again near all-time lows. Thus panic is morphing quietly to resignation. Something odd happened to the economy in May, but it is not clear what. All of the data arriving for several weeks has had the same pattern: weaker than prior report, and below the reduced forecast. June retail sales were supposed to slide 0.2 percent, but arrived at -0.5 percent; The New York Federal Reserve's July index was expected at 18, down from June's 19.57, and came in at 5.08; the Philadelphia Fed's index forecast was 8, down from 10, and landed at 5. The National Federation...
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