Today’s news from the Fed provides good reason for why I don’t write the Brief in advance. We collect data all week and I assemble thoughts along the way, but economic winds can occasionally shift so fast that yesterday’s news literally becomes antiquated. A large portion of today’s topic would have been devoted to speculation of the Fed’s next action. Well, this morning they answered the question without ambiguity.

Sailing downwind can be very tricky; certainly not as easy as it looks. A slight shift in the wind can send the mainsail boom sweeping across the boat with terrific speed and force. An alert skipper or crewmember who sees the sail flatten abruptly yells the warning  jibe which means to duck or find yourself in the drink with a knot on your head.

Have they executed a perfect landing by slowing the economy just long enough to wring out inflation while keeping growth alive? After slowing steadily for the last four quarters, the economy is giving strong signs that it may be back on a growth track. Today’s report from the Labor Department shows that employers added 157,000 jobs in May. It demonstrates that employers are optimistic about their businesses and it makes consumers feel better about their own jobs. Another report showed that personal spending rose in April by .5% following a .4% increase in March. Corporate earnings from S&P 500 companies gained 11.6% in the first quarter, which is three times more than analysts' estimates at the start of the reporting season. As the data shows an economy resuming healthy growth, inflation remains tame.

Just before landing an airplane, the pilot flares back, slowing its speed by transitioning into a stall attitude. After slowing down, he changes pitch into a landing attitude shortly before touching down. The stall essentially drops the plane onto the runway. Stall too early and you get quite a bump. Contents in the overhead bins most definitely shift, if not fall. Stall just right and the plane gently touches the runway, its speed no longer sufficient to keep it aloft. Airline captains get applause when they land a plane like that.