OpinionMarkets & Economy

What’s preventing the acceleration of housing sales?

The economy is somewhere between OK and just fine

Last week, it was a tad more difficult than usual to thresh wheat from chaff. At the outset, anyway, stick with Clinton’s Law: “It’s the economy...” The economy is somewhere between OK and just fine. First quarter GDP was initially reported as weak, a 0.7 percent annualized gain, but a revision doubled it to 1.4 percent -- below the Fed’s forecast, but a better second quarter will fix that. New data on personal income and spending are also cooking right along. The only flaws: NAR’s index of pending sales has fallen 1.7 percent year-over-year, and the Fed’s favorite measure of inflation is also under-performing at 1.4 percent. “Flaws” like this suppress the Fed’s intention to raise the cost of money, but rates nevertheless rose in this week’s only economic upset. The US 10-year T-note. Draghi’s Tuesday effect clear -- and later forcing some “longs” into selling: Mario Draghi mumbled the possibility of tapering ECB (European Central Bank) bond-buy...