This morning we were hit with the news that the economy is not as robust as originally thought. Economic growth for the third quarter, as measured by GDP, was revised down to 2.8% versus the 3.5% originally reported.
When breaking down the numbers there really isn’t much good news. Almost every category – including consumer spending, corporate spending, autos, etc. – was revised downward. This does seem like less of a disconnect with the 10.2% unemployment rate that shows no sign of improvement, but it is not exactly the kind of news you want to receive two days before our official national day of thanks.
The thing about tough times is that they are tough. There seems to be a gloom over the country, the economy is going nowhere, and we face the most anti-growth policies we have seen in this country in 30 years. We are beginning to get speeches about jobs, but speeches will not put anyone to work. For the first time in my memory I am really questioning whether our leaders are mature enough and serious enough to lead us out of this mess. Every day there seem to be stories out of Washington that bring to mind the phrase, “if you aren’t mad, you aren’t paying attention.” That is nothing new, of course, but in this climate it is all the more wearisome.
In the midst of this news, we approach Thanksgiving. While our circumstances may seem bleak, we know nothing lasts forever, and we still have plenty for which to be thankful. Here are some of my reasons to give thanks this year:
Ford avoided bankruptcy and a government takeover, leaving America with one domestically owned, privately run auto manufacturer.
Congress must face the wrath of voters every two years.
The stock market has come back dramatically and is hovering close to its high for the year.
The Wake Forest men’s basketball team is still undefeated, giving it a better record than cross-state rival UNC Chapel Hill.
Family and friends.
My mom’s pumpkin cheesecake.
My loose-fitting pants are clean and ready for Thursday.
I am also thankful for you, our clients and friends. This fall we have received notes of gratitude from several of you. We have been paid the highest compliment by being referred to friends, associates, and family members. We are greatly appreciative.
As always, we will do all we can in this tough environment to continue to earn your trust. Thank you all for being with us.
Chuck Osborne, CFA