‘Oomph We Need’
“I don’t see anything that’s going to get us out of this modest pace and give us the oomph we need,” said Josh Feinman, the New York-based global chief economist for DB Advisors, the Deutsche Bank AG asset management unit that oversees $220 billion and a former senior economist at the Fed’s board of governors.
“The economy is just stuck in low gear, even though the recovery is more than three years old,” he said. “It’s very unsatisfying and it’s very sluggish. The data have been mixed.”
Employment is a key theme for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and private-equity executive who says he would be better at creating jobs than President Barack Obama. The jobless rate has stayed above 8 percent since February 2009.
Romney cut Obama’s lead in a national NBC/Journal poll released this week. The president led Romney, 49 percent to 46 percent, among likely voters, down from 50 percent to 45 percent two weeks earlier. Polls in swing states released Oct. 3 show Romney pulling closer to Obama in Florida and Virginia while continuing to trail in Ohio.
The world’s largest economy will probably expand by about 2 percent this year, boosted by rising home prices, employment and consumer confidence, according to Ellen Hughes-Cromwick, chief economist at Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford Motor Co., the second-biggest U.S. automaker.
The economy in the U.S. grew less than previously forecast in the second quarter, reflecting slower gains in consumer spending. Gross domestic product rose by 1.3 percent from April through June after expanding at a 2 percent rate in the first quarter and 4.1 percent in the fourth quarter.
“Economic fundamentals are still pointing toward modest economic growth,” Hughes-Cromwick said in an Oct. 2 conference call with industry analysts. “There are now signs of a better housing recovery ahead.”