If the Wall Street Journal meant to reach for reassuring comfort, they fell far short. After spending late summer last year and into the fall proclaiming that manufacturing didn’t matter (12%), the newest round of talking points are “false positives.” In other words, manufacturing and industry does matter, after all, but just “not enough” to tip into full recession. That would seem to suggest some kind of balance on the plus side, but what they give us is actually the opposite.
The case for a downside is quite compelling, a point very grudgingly accepted in the article. In the truly forward-looking case, there are industrial production, corporate profits and the stock market (that latter is and has been dubious, but this is the Wall Street Journal). On those three counts there is nothing but growing concern rather than “transitory” irrelevance.