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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Midterm Races May Be Hurting the Economy

Over the past two weeks, consumer spending is running at about its slowest in 2010 and well below the same weeks of the 2009 new normal. At the same time, the unemployment component of Gallup's underemployment rate has been steadily increasing in hitting 10% for the 30-day rolling average ending Sept. 28. It looks like the economy could be taking another turn for the worse.

It may be that today's unusually high degree of economic uncertainty has consumers and small business owners pulling back on spending. In turn, this could be worsening an already dire jobs situation.

However, the midterm elections could also be playing a role. Often, political opponents disagree not only about what has caused the poor economy, but also on how best to get it going again. This political rhetoric may generate even more confusion and uncertainty as the midterm elections draw near and more Americans listen carefully to the political debates.

If true, this could mean the economy will get worse in the weeks ahead as political debate exacerbates economic confusion. Of course, whether it means things will get better following the elections is a whole different discussion.


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