Thursday, 21 October 2010

We live in "unusually uncertain" times

Jim Speros is the Executive VP and CMO of Fidelity Investments, America's largest financial services company, so he knows a thing or two about financial markets.

In his view, "consumers have reset the way they spread their dollars. There's a new frugality." This is mostly because consumer confidence is at an all time low, at 50% of the rate it was when the index started in 1985.

It's not suprising, really, when you look at the facts post credit crunch:

- slowed economic growth
- struggling local economies at state and municipal levels
- low interest rates (barely 1%)
- new taxes
- concerns over the European debt crisis (in Portugal, Italy, Spain, Greece and Ireland)
- foreclosures up 288,000 for the third quarter
- unemployment at 9.6% for 2 consecutive months
- stock market volatility - in 41% of trading days over the last year, the market has spiked or dropped 100 points or more!

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