The data and events of the last month provide greater confidence of an improving economy.

The economy appears to be coming out with the soft data reported for September and October. We should get confirmation of this with the data due out this week. While retail sales as reported by the Commerce Department were only up 0.2% for November, as opposed to the 0.5% increase expected, personal spending is expected to be up a much stronger 0.4% for the month. Just as importantly, personal income is expected to be up 0.3% after no increase in October. The retail sales data was much different than the reported increases in holiday spending being reported by the private sector.