It goes without saying that the state of the American economy has been a topic of great discussion over the last decade, and even more throughout the past eight years, as president Obama was tasked with finding ways to fix it. Dante Chinni of NBC News points out that “as the next presidential race begins, it may be time to consider whether that will still be the case in 2015,” in regards to our ongoing countrywide conversation about the economy.
Believe it or not, some business insiders are speculating that the economy is improving, or at least being positioned to do so soon. And they aren’t alone. In fact, recent polls reveal that a significant portion of Americans also believe that the economy is improving. Reports Chinni, “Daily polling from Gallup gathered throughout the first quarter of 2015 suggests the beginning of this year may have been a turning point. The numbers covering January to March show 46 percent of Americans believe the economy is ‘getting better’ while 49 percent still believe it is getting worse.” And while that 49 percent is still (understandably) pessimistic, the 46 percent marks a huge change in perspective when compared to the last decade.
Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont, a mortgage-related securities company led by Joe Walsh, Mark B. Werner and board members including General Atlantic’s David Topper, recently commented on the economic upswing he is observing. Business Insider reports that by Stanley’s judgment, the economy will be “itching for action” from the Federal Reserve come September. “By the end of the summer, passing in June and lifting off in September is going to feel like missing your commuter train by two minutes and having to wait half an hour for the next one,” writes Stanley in a new retail sales report that speaks to the long wait the markets will experience this summer.
Business Insider’s Myles Udland reports, “With a labor market that looks increasingly tight as job openings, jobless claims, payroll gains, and wage growth all continue to strengthen – and a Federal Reserve that looks eager to raise rates at some point this year – each piece of strong data that rolls in solidifies the case to prepare, for the first time since 2006, for the Federal Reserve to raise rates.” Upland is referring to the interest rate policy that the Federal Reserve is evaluating during this month’s policy meeting.
Technical and jargon-heavy business insights aside, the economy and how it impacts the average working American will likely carry a significant amount of weight in the upcoming presidential election. The growing optimism about our economy might pose a challenge to presidential candidates who won’t be able to use it in their campaign platform, but as Chinni points out, “The economy is not suddenly going to disappear from the 2016 debate.” There’s no easy way of knowing with absolute certainty if the economy is improving or not, but the optimism of that 46 percent of Americans feels hopeful.
For more information about how American feel about the current economic state, check out Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index.
Featured Image: Chuck P via Flickr CC.