Inflationary pressures continue, while official economic reporting shows intermittent indications of stalling. Current inflation levels have been reached due largely to the Federal Reserve’s dollar-debasement policies of recent years, along with supplemental upside pressures, at present, from heightened political tensions in the Middle East. February industrial production was unchanged on a monthly basis, while the monthly gain in February retail sales was not statistically meaningful, adjusted for inflation.
Recognition of an intensifying double-dip recession as well as an escalating inflation problem remains sporadic. The political system would like to see the issues disappear until after the election; the media does its best to avoid publicizing unhappy economic news; and the financial markets will do their best to avoid recognition of the problems for as long as possible, problems that have horrendous implications for the markets and for systemic stability.