What will we do to get the economy going?

Commentary: Listlessness in markets corresponds to White House policy vacuum

This week brought lots of minor reports but nothing to change the outlook.

A 12 percent spike in December housing starts got more attention than it deserved — a dead-of-winter month is not a good indicator — and pushed interest rates up a hair. But inflation remains completely under control, core CPI up only 1.7 percent in the whole of 2012.