The Economy Ain’t Dead Yet

New numbers provide reason for optimism.

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More news today hinting that the economic slowdown will be just that—a slowdown, not a recession. The ADP estimate for the increase in November payrolls was a bullish 189,000, suggesting a total payroll gain—public and private—of some 225,000. The current consensus guess from Wall Street is 70,000. The preliminary jobs number comes out Friday, so we'll see who's right. Moreover, the November ISM survey of nonmanufacturing conditions dipped to just 54.1 from 55.8 in October. A reading above 50 usually means the economy is still growing, and this number may mean it is growing as fast as 2.5 percent annualized, according to economist Mike Darda over at MKM Partners. And as the econ team at JPMorgan sees things, these data signal "a deceleration in growth between 3Q and 4Q, but [the numbers] are non consistent with a collapse." Well, that's something, I guess.