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With markets now showing a 90% chance of a rate rise in nine days, only a torrent of dreadful data will hold back the Fed. Survey data show solid gains in consumer and small business optimism, unemployment is nearing the Fed’s target, and all this despite deliberately delayed tax refunds. Through 2/10/17, 14.1 million refunds were mailed totaling $29 billion, compared to 29.2 million refunds totaling $94 billion last year.

Elliot F. Eisenberg,

Ph.D. GraphsandLaughs, LLC