January’s data was quite good, and improvements in many areas suggest ongoing growth into 2018. Job growth picked back up, and both consumer and business confidence pushed higher. Fed policy remains stimulative, and recent increases in long-term rates steepened the yield curve—often a positive sign. Overall, this month’s data indicates that some of the weakness of the past couple of months may be passing and that the end of the cycle may not be as close as that data had suggested. Some trends do continue to be somewhat worrisome, however, so we’ll be keeping an eye on the economic risks.
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