STATE OF BUSINESS: Interesting Phase

A top Administration official scrutinized the U.S. economy last week and reported that it is in a "very interesting phase." What he really meant is that he and many fellow economists are genuinely baffled by the economy's performance. They have merely to look around them at the signs of economic hustle and bustle to observe the obvious health of the economy. Yet many of the key statistics that economists have used for years to measure the economy's health indicate that it is on the edge of a slow-up.

Last week the Federal Reserve reported that industrial production fell in May...

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