The third-quarter earnings season kicked off today with an ominous warning about global growth from the IMF. A weak consolation for Americans is that we are the only major economy where the IMF expects decent growth in the next year.
"The U.S. being a bright spot is a tad optimistic," says Juli Niemann analyst with Smith Moore & Company, "the better descriptor is that we are all economic dogs in the Western world -- the U.S. is just the best in show."
Yet, there is good news in housing as pent up demand causes a gradual climb in home prices and mortgage rates remain low. Elsewhere in the economy, consumer confidence is steady and unemployment is slowing improving, which, according to Juli Neimann, is not happening anywhere in the euro zone.
The IMF report came out strong against the EU and U.S. on their failure to deal with current and impending fiscal problems. Neimann sums up the IMF warning by comparing our situation to past global economic failures, "we're repeating the killer policy of the 1930's of raising taxes and spending cuts."