America’s bumpy recovery continues during the first half of 2013, with employment improving and other metrics (construction spending, etc.) trending sideways or down; China, and Asia as a whole, saw slower than expected GDP growth–but not slow enough for alarm; and, as usual, little ever happens in Washington (one caveat look for rate adjustments by the Fed in late 2013 or 2014). Looking ahead, the US Sequester will cut GDP growth slightly in back half of the year, turmoil will continue in Europe due to financial issues and in the Middle East but neither will throttle US economic activity during 2013. The US stock market will stay in positive territory throughout the year but will remain volatile in both directions. US energy markets remain a great bright spot and will continue to create jobs and make a wide-ranging impact including on US manufacturing and refining competitive advantage.