I got a call from Fox News yesterday asking if I thought the state of the economy plays in favor of the Republicans or the Democrats. As I write in the current issue of the Forbes Growth Investor, which was released today, I believe the Republicans still have the upper hand on the economy. Unfortunately for the Republicans, the economy will not play a big role in the mid-term elections. Polls indicate that voters are more concerned about Iraq.
Although the trends are not favorable, for the most part the economy is doing well. GDP growth is slowing, but it's still healthy. Companies are laying off workers, but the unemployment rate is low. Inflation is rising, but it's relatively tame.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that the economy was doing well during the Clinton administration, too. But when it began to slow toward the tail end of that era, Republicans started warning that the economy was headed into recession. Democrats scoffed at the notion, yet the Republicans turned out to be correct. Today, the tables are turned. The Republicans are the ones in power with a good but slowing economy. So far, I still think the chances of recession are remote. However, the probability keeps rising. Energy and housing will play key roles.
Meanwhile, corporations keep reporting outstanding profits. Standard & Poor's Howard Silverblatt who tracks the numbers is my next guest on MoneyMasters. This video will be available for viewing Thursday morning at 6:00 am.