Housing recovery lacks coal for the firebox

Commentary: Without credit, hopes for construction and sales are too high

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Another thin week for economic data, but plenty going on and patterns are forming.

The dominant one is positive expectation for the economy: some is legitimate, although hope-based; some is illegitimate, salesmen mostly on Wall Street; and some is a form of habit, that sooner or later we’ll enter an old-fashioned cyclical recovery.