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I’m not a big fan of economists but one guy I do respect is Paul Kasriel, aka “The Econtrarian” (great name) and Director of Economic Research at Northern Trust. In his latest missive titled, “The Great Depression – Just the Facts, Ma’am,” he finishes with this:

We can debate whether the federal government should increase any of its spending. But the facts of the 1930s appear to be pretty clear – monetized increased federal government spending does result in increased real economic activity in the short run.

The economic data are likely to be abysmal through the first half of this year. The popular media will reinforce the gloom of the data. The same pundits who did not see this downturn coming will not see the recovery coming either. My advice to you is to keep your eye on the index of Leading Economic Indicators. If history is any guide, the LEI will signal a recovery well ahead of the pundits.

Today, the Leading Economic Index for January was released and guess what it showed: the second consecutive monthly increase. Good things happen when you least expect them. Is there anything less expected than an economic turnaround right now?

Getting Better – Smash Mouth