Questions remain about the economic outlook visualized with question marks on top of a $100 bill.. Source: Shutterstock.

One of the big themes of the last year has been that almost everyone has been too pessimistic about the economy and corporate fundamentals.

The easiest way to see this is by looking at an economic “surprise index” which attempts to gauge the degree to which the data is beating or missing economists’ forecasts. It’s not a gauge of absolute strength but of relative strength. For about a year now, the Citi Economic Surprise Index for the U.S. has been in positive territory. That means this whole time, despite all the stories about the rebound, and the strength of the recovery and the powerful impact of the fiscal response, economists have been too pessimistic.

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