AquinaOctober 12, 2016

Businesses are getting worried the election will hurt the economy

Businesses are getting worried the election will hurt the economy

The Washington Post reports, The American economy is starting to get the election jitters.

Slow sales of Red Robin’s gourmet burgers prompted the chain’s top executive to wonder whether this year’s vitriolic presidential campaign season has driven consumers to pull a blanket over their heads. A top executive at the Home Shopping Network said the tone of the election is generating negativity — and even fear. And mattress giant Tempur Sealy is worried that the focus on politics will distract consumers from the importance of a good night’s sleep.

“We are nervous, I guess is the word, about what we think is going to be a noisy election cycle in North America,” chief executive Scott Thompson told investors recently.

That uncertainty could explain why several key readings of the economy’s health have been surprisingly weak lately, analysts say. Consumer spending was restrained last month, when many experts had expected a pickup. Companies have been reluctant to invest, dragging down broader economic growth. Even the strong job market has become suspect: Perhaps businesses would rather hire workers than spend big money on equipment and factories amid a fragile recovery.

A recent poll by the National Association for Business Economics found that 11 percent of its members have postponed hiring or investment decisions until after November. More than half of its members rated this year’s election a negative for the economy. The rest were unsure or neutral.

“Nobody said it was positive,” said Kevin Swift, who headed the survey committee for the National Association for Business Economics.

Every presidential election creates fresh uncertainty about the direction of the economy, an issue that consistently ranks among voters’ top concerns. Both Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton have made frustration over the slow progress of the nation’s recovery from the Great Recession cornerstones of their campaigns.

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The Washington Post- Businesses are getting worried the election will hurt the economy