Bottom line is everything costs so much, work force is down, no one has extra money for anything.

Subscribers to my investment newsletter PowerTrend Profits have heard me talk about how misleading a number of economic metrics can be. That’s why, as part of my normal, everyday data-point gathering, I read, peruse and examine a slew of articles, websites and financial reports. The strategy is to string together enough data points to have a cohesive view not only of what’s going on, but what is more than likely to happen in the coming months.

The first step is to understand what is really going on in the economy. A case in point is the mainstream media’s “reporting” on the unemployment rate. Such reports go something more or less like this — “the unemployment rate fell again this month.” While that is technically true, it doesn’t really tell you why it’s dropping — and as the saying goes, the devil is in the details.