Yesterday the Philadelphia Fed Business Economic Survey came in at the lowest level since the recession in 2001. Some argue that it is just one month's worth of data, and "...besides, it is Philadelphia. Those numbers are always quirky." And why pay attention to the Conference Board's Index of Leading Economic Indicators? The bond market has its own opinions, and they are different than that of the stock market. With all of this as backdrop, we will then think about why we should be optimistic. Things are going to get better. All it takes is a little innovation.
The data seems to be pointing to an economic slowdown of some kind. It is getting increasingly difficult to suggest that we are in for a Goldilocks scenario where growth runs at 3%, inflation drops below 2% and housing starts to recover.
The debate is between those who say we are in for a soft landing or a hard landing. A hard landing is one in which the economy enters a recession. A soft landing is normally defined as one where the economy slows but stops somewhere north of an actual recession.