With the failure of the Obama administration to extend its fiscal policy and redeem the American economical illness, people have now fervently placed their hopes in the lap of the Federal Reserve Bank. The American economy is currently going through a rough phase riddles with unfortunate events that has infused pessimism in the system.
Americans are believed to be as pessimistic about the U.S economy as they were during the Great Depression; this shows in key readings of the consumer confidence data. In august the consumer confidence index plunged to its lowest level since April 2009. Consumer confidence index is the degree of optimism consumers have about the overall state of the economy.
It generally indicates the financial situation of the people and their confidence about their future earnings. In a situation like this where rising unemployment and mild lob losses on a constant basis lowers the probability of stability in future income, consumers eventually lose buoyancy and start reducing their spendings.
The consumer confidence index, also sometimes referred to as the expectation index, that dropped 23 point from 74.9 to 51.9 in July. The month of August saw the steepest fall since the heydays of the early recession in 2007.
Jobs in crisis
The darkening outlook of US economy is due to the debt ceiling debates, falling employment, irregular stocks and the downgrade by S&P. With spending cuts and the gloomy jobs outlook, the chances of a sooner-than-expected recovery remains a distant dream.
In a top job-killing list, prepared by CNN Money, Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street giant, took second place; Goldman recently axed 1000 jobs as a part of their cost-cutting effort. Technology giant Cisco Systems also announced a cut of 6500 employees. Top defense supplier to pentagon, The Lockheed Martin said it has laid off 6500 employees and counting.
Research in Motion, maker of Blackberry, also slashed 2000 employees or nearly 10 percent of its workforce. Once the leader in North America Smartphone market, the company finds that sales are waning since Apple launched its new iPhone. With fiscal alternatives drying up there has been a diversion of attention towards the Federal Reserve (FED).
At the two-day FED annual forum at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Bernanke did not give any hints about another round of economic stimulus, but said that the central bank would do all to help boost recovery. Jesse Cole, head of Merlin Institutional group, said “Bernanke really indicated that the central bank has a lot more tools and weapons at its disposal to stimulate the economy.”
Hopes are sky high since the FED chief used his Jackson Hole speech last year to lay the groundwork for a second round of bond purchases. Earlier in December 2008, the FED chief expanded the meeting for two days and lowered the benchmark interest rate to near zero from 1%
Recent budget outlooks from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) provided further proof that the U.S. should be serious about dealing with debt. CBO wants to make about about striking a balance in the efforts to tamp down the debt burden and tanking economic growth.
Not surprisingly, Bernanke echoed a similar voice when he said policymaker should be more careful with current economic recovery and fiscal headwinds that may come up in time. The macro economic situation is difficult with the current high unemployment rates, the high gasoline prices,the debt mountain, and shrinking alternatives.