Recent strong economic data may weaken some in spring, but don't panic.
The net deficit will not provide the tailwind that it did from 2006 to 2011, but it shouldn't hurt the recovery, either.
After some truly horrific personal income data last summer, the consumer is finally beginning to see meaningful increases in income.
Strong growth is likely to slow--temporarily--in the first half of 2012.
A better employment market and moderating prices should give a lift to consumers.
Was Lennar's stellar fourth quarter a housing fluke? Stay tuned for next week's data.
We saw some strong data at the close of 2011, but that doesn't mean a big boom is coming, says Morningstar's Bob Johnson.
Consumer spending this holiday season was stronger than most anyone expected.
The odds of an economic upside surprise in 2012 are substantially higher than a downside surprise, though uncertain risks out of Europe still loom.
Don't get too excited over recent improved numbers--some of the statistics are just good luck.
There's a chance steady growth in the U.S. could drag Europe into better times.
Real disposable income jumped up--just in time for the holidays.
Continued slow improvement points to a better--but not robust--2012.
The current sources of economic growth are not what they were a few months ago, says Morningstar's Bob Johnson.
The real underlying inflation-adjusted growth rate in the economy appears to be anemic but steady.
The U.S. is particularly well situated compared with almost any other economy in the world right now, says Morningstar's director of economic analysis. These four factors should push 2012 GDP growth ahead of 2011's rate.
Political, regulatory, and economic uncertainty conspire to keep growth stuck in neutral.
Inflation data was mixed this week, but signs indicate consumers are balking at higher prices.
Global debt and policy issues are distractions from positive GDP indicators, says Morningstar's Bob Johnson.
Morningstar's Bob Johnson is betting on strong consumer spending to help the U.S. avoid a new recession.
The market welcomed Bernanke's pass on another round of easing and the extension of next month's meeting.
Never forget the shock value of a negative data point in a panicky market.
After a very volatile week in the markets, indicators remained consistent, and no third round of easing appears to be looming.
The underlying trends don't point to an economy coming apart at the seams.
As the effects from Japan fade, earnings misses and budget crises take center stage.
Most of the issues that held the economy back this spring saw some improvement in June and even more in July.
After an awful jobs report, July has more bad news in store.
Many recent problem spots in the economy will rectify themselves in the third quarter--perhaps dramatically so.
Special factors hit the economy hard in the first half, but there are fundamental concerns, too.
Though upcoming weak data may simply reflect temporary Japanese supply chain disruptions, the market's potential reaction to bad news may be less forgiving.
With each piece of data, market sentiment is shifting from one side of the boat to the other, but stay focused on the consumer.
It is a relief that more Fed intervention is not forthcoming.
Exogenous factors could produce shockingly bad statistics for another month or two.
While the 'Tiffany's Recovery' continues, lower-income consumers are being pummeled.
...but there's still no need to panic, says Morningstar's Bob Johnson.
Though markets dropped as commodities swooned, the recent plunge in commodity prices portends better news on the inflation front, says Morningstar's Bob Johnson.
A week of worrying news ended on a high note.
Inflation continues to take a toll, but consumers haven't flinched just yet.
The economy is stronger than headline numbers suggest.
Bodies in motion continued to stay in motion this week.
The U.S. consumer keeps going, and going, and going...
Despite all the predicaments that arose during the first quarter, consumer spending continues and the market has been resilient.
Offsetting mixed economic data, results from the tech sector this week offered a clear indication that businesses are back in a spending mood.
Given the volatility in the Middle East and the many unknowns in Japan, the assumption of a quick return to normalcy is a relatively bold expectation.
Consumer net worth is going up, consumer debt is going down, but a hike in oil prices could still foul it all up.
As good as the raw data was, there are some disturbing portions of the report, writes Morningstar's Bob Johnson.
Consumers appear to be acting on their more upbeat sentiments, and trading up as well.
Higher inflation is a leading cause of recessions.
The race between wages and inflation will be the most important factor in determining the direction of the economy this spring and summer.
The official January employment report was flawed.