Click to Enlarge Adding to the pressure has been a steady drip of disappointing economic data, which suggests that maybe the slowdown we’ve seen in recent months cannot just be blamed on harsh winter weather.
Perhaps it’s indicative of deeper trouble.
Some of the data last week was soft, including reports on manufacturing activity and the trade deficit.
That caused another downward shift in the Citigroup Economic Surprise Index, which measures where the data is coming in against analyst expectations. We’re now looking at the most disappointing period in the macroeconomic data since 2012.
Amid the continuation of the Fed’s tapering of QE3, and the bringing-forward of the timing of the first short-term rate hike, this is about as comforting as a cold, wet towel.