I am always somewhat amused when I read how so-called "experts" are "surprised" or "shocked" or "baffled" (lots of other expressions pop up when dealing with the economy in particular) when economic news turns out not to be what they had anticipated...even though it would seem pretty obvious to anyone with a keen observational eye that there is nothing really surprising by the latest set of statistics at all.
Take the just released government report on new home sales. They have hit a nine-month low. Apparently some analysts that had been "surveyed by Briefing.com had expected December sales of new home to hit an annual rate of 366,000." Instead, the figure was actually 342,000 last month, down 7.6 % from the previous month.