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Monday, August 8, 2011

A street-level look at the political and economic landscape: Ugly

There has certainly been no shortage of chaos over the past week.  The debt ceiling conflict was solved (for now) last Monday and Tuesday (see this Denver Post story).  But it wasn’t accomplished without casualty:  By Thursday, polls had been published illustrating the dismal approval rating of congress (see this NY Times story), and the press has been no less brutal for the White House.  Late Friday, Standard and Poor’s reduced the U.S. credit rating (as published here by the Washington Post).

Implications:    On a positive note, the U.S. economy added more than 128,000 jobs last month… and that number would have been considerably higher if not for the state government shutdown in Minnesota, which temporarily shed 30,000+ positions.  But based on the few polls and considerable press devoted to public sentiment, I have to believe folks are fed-up with the way the system is working right now. 

Heading into an election cycle, we can expect the rhetoric to increase, and the discontent right along with it.  Waiting for the economy to calm is probably not an option.  Getting to know your consumers better than you ever have—and serving them more effectively and efficiently than ever—is going to remain critical for the foreseeable future.

Mike Anderson, for the Elm Street Economics consumer trends blog. A service of The Center for Sales Strategy, Inc.

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