Man Without Qualities

Friday, January 16, 2004

Another Reason Why Hillary Probably Won't Run No Matter How Wild Iowa Becomes...

... or even accept a draft.

She likes to know in advance that she can win:

U.S. consumer sentiment enjoyed its biggest one-month jump in more than 11 years in early January, signaling that the economy was likely at a turning point that would lead to better hiring.

The University of Michigan's preliminary reading of consumer sentiment rose to 103.2, the highest since November 2000, before the recession hit three years ago and the economy suffered through a sluggish rebound.

January's reading, up more than 10 points from December's 92.6 level, was the biggest one-month increase since late 1992 and easily surpassed economists' forecasts for a rise to 94.0.

"It's a sign, if anything, that perhaps the labor market improved dramatically in the first couple of weeks of January versus December," said Ian Morris, chief economist at HSBC Securities USA in New York.

The confidence data helped ease worries that the labor market's slow recovery might undermine consumer spending, which makes up two-thirds of economic activity in the United States.

Yes, things may have picked up in January. But the soft December numbers might just be out-and-out wrong. December is a tough month to measure employment data.

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