Consumer gloom, small biz misery

Surveys show dropping confidence in the recovery for both consumers and small business owners.

Paul Sakuma/AP
In this photograph taken July 12, sales advertisements are displayed at Office Depot in Mountain View, Calif. Retail sales fell in June for the second straight month, raising new concerns about how much of a slowdown the economy will have to endure in the second half of this year.

I was out grabbing some beers and wings with some non-Wall Street friends (thank god for them) last night and, around a table of 6, not a positive word was said about the economy or its prospects for improvement anytime soon.

And none of these guys are economists, they work for a living in real-world jobs with accountability, so their views are instantly more worthwhile than anything coming out of Washington.

Anyway, they laugh whenever the term "Recovery" comes up. They don't see it in their businesses, nor do their suppliers, nor do their customers. The below Investors Business Daily graphic lays this out rather starkly...

According to the article:

Consumer gloom in July reached its highest level since the recession was near the bottom amid fears that the expansion remains too weak to create many jobs, according to the IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index out Tuesday.

Meanwhile, a gauge of small-business confidence retreated in June to a level typical of a "weak or recession-mired economy" as the sales outlook deteriorated sharply, the National Federation of Independent Business said Tuesday.

These are just two surveys of many, all of them saying the same thing. Public company executives are enjoying their recovery, borrowing for free, hoarding their cash and compensating themselves as if the sun is about to explode. This as the rest of the country looks on in slack-jawed amazement and utter befuddlement.

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