For months, the weather has dominated discourse about the economy. Analysts attributed the dearth of shoppers, the weak employment numbers and the overall decline in economic activity to the cold and snow in the eastern half of the nation, the freakish storms in the South and Midwest, and the drought in the West.
But finally a set of numbers is emerging that takes the temperature of the economy without the taint of severe weather. And while some of the data is disappointing — for starters, exports slowed in April and productivity gains have been modest — over all the economy appears to be getting back on a moderate growth path after the setbacks of the first quarter.
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