I want to pick out some points the authors make and then express a different set of questions and concerns.
- "The U.S. economy entered the 5th consecutive year of growth in Q3 of 2013."
The consumer sector has usually been one of the engines of recovery in prior business cycles, but not in this one. How could it be otherwise? The authors note,
- "The unemployment rate has declined from 10% in October 2010 to as low as 7.2%, but remains high by historical standards."
- "Real Personal Consumption Expenditures has been remarkably steady and sluggish for an extended period."
So we have a five year old recovery that is built on pretty sandy soils.