s skippy the bush kangaroo

skippy the bush kangaroo

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

happy end of the month from the bush economic team

well, it looks like consumer confidence has fallen again, folks!

consumer confidence fell in january for the second straight month, largely because americans feel less optimistic about the job front and any increases in their incomes, a private research group reported tuesday, says yahoo news.

the conference board, a business research group based in new york, said its closely watched index of consumer confidence fell to 79 from a revised 80.7 in december...the group's expectations index, which measures consumers' outlook for the future, fell to 81.4 from 88.1, says cnnmoney.

here is the actual table of numbers, thanks to forbes.com. notice the overall index is down 5 points from november.

why do things look so bleak? perhaps it's because everyone knows that a long, protracted war with iraq, or even a short one with destruction of oil resources (remember those burning kuwaiti wells?) would plunge the world economy into a major depression.

sky-rocketing oil prices and investor jitters could hinder any economic recovery for several years, says the christian science monitor.

damage to oil fields, high casualties, or effective use of wmd would send the price of oil surging to $80 per barrel, according to [center for strategic and international studies] economists.

worse, the cost of war itself will go up significantly if it's not the cake walk that poppy had in the early 90's.

in that case, the cost would rise from $us50 billion to about $us140 billion, says the financial review in this article, the economic consquences of conflict.

and even now, the uncertainty of war weighs heavily on the economy. while consumers have not been overly discouraged by higher energy costs or the risk of another terrorist attack, business leaders are clearly hesitant to make new investments until the smoke clears, says daniel altman of the nytimes.

and talk about betting big on a long shot: while no one wants war, equity participants are starting to voice their hopes that a quick resolution to the crisis in iraq could well be a net positive to the stock market and could send stocks higher -- at least in the short term. what investors really hope is that iraq president saddam hussein just packs it in and leaves town, says reuters.

yeah, that'll happen. and we're betting on the broncos to win this last superbowl.
posted by skippy at 12:26 PM |


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