ECRI has a great record of predicting both the beginning and end of recessions. It called the entry into this one in the fall of 2007 and the exit from this slowdown in the summer, long before anyone else had.

Achuthan says this will be a classic V-shaped recovery. The V-shape refers to the way the growth looks when plotted against time on a chart.

One of the major criticisms aimed at such bullish measures is that they merely reflect the massive monetary stimulus provided by the Federal Reserve and therefore are too narrow.

That could be leveled at Ranson's data, but not at ECRI.

The WLI data is proprietary so they don't tell us exactly what is in the soup.

But Anirvan Banerji, director of research at ECRI, does say: "All the key drivers of the business cycle have improved," and that "goes beyond monetary measures."

So what? Well, investors have already seen the classic early-cycle gains in some sectors of the stock market: Notably, huge rallies in commodity-related stocks and information technology.

What's next for big gains? Maybe retail.

"The consumer cannot be counted out," says Banerji.

And that surprising conclusion is shared by Wainwright's Ranson.


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