NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The much ballyhooed February nonfarm payroll report and unemployment figures were released yesterday. Based on the bond- and stock-market reactions to the news (albeit oil-price movements are also clearly impacting current market movements), investors are skeptical, at best, that unemployment is falling quickly enough to sustain a solid U.S. economic recovery.Well, that comment may not be fully capturing investors' disappointment with the report. What has really disheartened investors is the fact that wage growth (hourly earnings) remains unchanged. Meanwhile, food and energy (grocery and gasoline) prices are rapidly escalating. Translation: Consumers' real purchasing power is diminishing. And if consumers must spend more money at Safeway and the Arco station (assuming they've forgiven BP), there's that much less of "consumption" that feeds into the economy. And, oh, by the way, that consumption is roughly 70% of what drives our economy (sorry, pun intended).
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