The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) is not a household name. Outside of economists, few are familiar with the group. It’s importance: the 101-year-old organization is considered to be the official arbiter of recessions and economic expansions.
Have you ever driven down the road and hit a string of green lights? Or the radio is on and it’s one favorite after another.
The major U.S. stock market indexes are at or near all-time highs, and well-diversified investors have benefitted.
Subject to income limits, $1,400 checks per person started to roll into bank accounts in March, fueling the second largest monthly increase in retail sales since 1992 (when the current data series was first reported, U.S. Census).
Moreover, restrictions on various businesses are easing, aiding the flow of cash to retailers.
Q3 and Q4 earnings season easily exceeded analysts’ low earnings estimates.
- In hindsight, analysts failed to incorporate the strong economic recovery into profit estimates.
- Most companies topped a low hurdle.
It seems pretty obvious, at least in hindsight. Reopen the economy, give people cash, roll out effective vaccines, and job growth would soar. But an April 6 headline in Bloomberg News, U.S. Jobs Come Roaring Back, Surprising Employers and Economists, reveals that the experts were caught flat-footed.
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