Column: February economic data paint wretched portrait of economy

The daily flow of economic data offers little insight into the direction of the economy.

Most government statistics are preliminary releases, destined to be revised in coming months so are certain to provide a poor picture even to someone with clear context on their meaning. The stock markets are worse.

Trying to predict the turns of the economy through stock prices is like trying to assess climate change with your head in a freezer or hot oven.

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