Sometimes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. The past year has been confounding for most economists. Economic data and historical precedent suggested that a US recession was likely. Yet the year came to an end with continued strength in economic activity. At the same time, inflation declined rapidly and, by some measures, reached the Fed’s target by year-end. The “soft landing” which had appeared as a narrow possibility, suddenly seemed probable. Unsurprisingly, the markets rallied.