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Confusing Numbers

August 14, 2009 – 2:17 pm

Consumers for August feel worse than they did in July, the number was 66 versus a current reading of 63.2 and the inflation number out this morning was flat. Finally, the Phil Fed reported an improvement in industrial production and was a little more upbeat about the future.

We continue to see a mixed picture in the statistics. It is almost impossible to keep up with all the data and the effort to digest and understand it is difficult and time consuming. However, it is important to try and gauge the strength or weakness of the economy because it impacts the stock market.

The conclusion at this point in time is that our economy is at a turning point. Most feel, including Wall Street, that it is turning up not down. We are trying to claw our way off the bottom but that only means we are in the process of finding an economic bottom. We really have not seen much in the way of improvement.

Finding a bottom is the first step to improvement and the leading economic indicators are pointing to better times ahead. However, those better times will not be a return to run away debit spending by consumers as it was in the past. That is a good thing as maybe the recovery, when it finally arrives, will be more sustainable. At this point we will take any recovery.

Good Trading
Steve Peasley

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