State of Business: Undiscouraged

The figures were for a time past, but when they came out last week they set off discouraging talk for the first time since the economy started climbing again twelve months ago. Government statisticians reported January dips in industrial production, personal income, retail sales and housing starts. A few pessimists began openly wondering whether the recovery had already run its course. Optimists answered that the worst thing wrong with January was the weather. Most economists blame January's slide on weeks of unrelieved snow in the Midwest, frost in the South, and torrential rains in the West. And for once,...

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