There´s a difference between “robust” and just “positive numbers”

That distinction, however, is lost in the eagerness many have to paint a better future. Comments like this one are common:

Robust demand for long-lasting U.S. factory goods suggests business investment is strengthening, contributing to broader economic growth.

Reality, however, is not that rosy. As the chart indicates, the “recovery” petered out six years ago. Since then the trend has been flat, with frequent and sometimes persistent bouts of “underperformance”.

And there´s absolutely no sign that this will change. Given policy, the downside risks are overwhelming.

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