2001 Economic Forecast: Soft Landing on a Rocky Road

Stanley Kubrick's 1969 science fiction film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, was about mankind's journey through the unknown in search of knowledge. It's not unlike the voyage we take every year in search of economic indicators that will tell us what we can expect in the next 12 months. HAL the computer and the human crew of the 2001 spaceship were discovering just how big their world really was, but in the real 2001, we are continually discovering just how small our world really is. Trouble thousands of miles away in the Middle East can affect your trip to the local gas station and your vacation plans. Thanks to the Internet, a baseless rumor can take a company's stock on a wild roller coaster ride, and one-thirtieth of one percent of the vote in a state 2,000 miles away can affect the course of this country for the next four years. Here are some of the key indicators I see affecting our econo

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