The U.S. economy this year was strong and scary and not at all normal.
Growth surged, then stalled, then rebounded. Jobs were there for the taking. But not everyone wanted to — or was able to — return to work. The price of items such as lumber and used cars galloped higher at a pace most people had never experienced.
The U.S. economy this year is turning in its best performance since 1984, when Ronald Reagan proclaimed it “morning again in America.” Businesses are producing more goods and services than before the coronavirus pandemic, but doing so with about 4 million fewer workers. The economy is running so hot that the Federal Reserve this month took its first steps toward slowing things down, even as many downtown office towers remain vacant.
“We don’t look at this as a classic recovery,” said Paul…