New report could risk false optimism

Jeremy Hobson Jan 22, 2008
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New report could risk false optimism

Jeremy Hobson Jan 22, 2008
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Doug Krizner: The World Economic Forum will meet in Davos, Switzerland beginning tomorrow. Now, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulsen canceled plans to attend. He’s working instead on the president’s economic stimulus package. Mr. Paulsen will speak this morning at 8 a.m. Eastern.

Then later, we’ll get another view on the economy. The National Association for Business Economics will release its quarterly survey on business conditions. As Jeremy Hobson reports, it might have a bit of good news.


Jeremy Hobson: Four in five respondents say employment will either hold steady or increase in the near term. Yet practically everybody expects the housing slowdown to continue.

Ken Simonson, chief economist with the Associated General Contractors of America, calls it an interesting dichotomy.

Ken Simonson: I think this is really distinctive in that there is so much more upbeat attitude about companies’ own capital spending and hiring plans in the face of what’s widely reported to be the beginning of a recession, or at least a very marked slowdown.

David Madland at the Center for American Progress says some Americans are always upbeat, but this survey reflects false optimism.

David Madland: A few people might think they can swim against the tide, but the tide is taking the economy down.

Madland says just ask workers who see a different picture when it comes to wages, retirement, and health care.

In Washington, I’m Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

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