And it is playing hob with the expectations of economists, as Jeanna Smialek at Bloomberg reports:
Factory production in the U.S. unexpectedly declined in January by the most since May 2009, adding to evidence severe winter weather weighed on the economy.
In other troubling economic news:
Consumer confidence in the U.S. declined in January from a month earlier, indicating spending may cool following the biggest gain in three years at the end of 2013.
Wages are stuck, and barely rose at all in 2013. They were up 1.9 percent last year, or a mere 0.4 percent after accounting for inflation. Not only was that increase even smaller than the one recorded in 2012, it was half the normal rate of wage gains in the two decades before the last recession.
Goldman Sachs has lowered its first quarter US GDP estimate to 1.9% from 2.3%. Economists at the firm also see Q4 2013 GDP revised down to 2.4% compared to 3.2% reported on January 30. Both come after the disappointing US retail sales data today.
The recovery, it seems, is not especially robust (who knew?) and therefore subject to vagaries of the weather.