What happens in the European Union is not staying in the European Union, and it's the news story that is most affecting Affluent investors' economic outlook, according to Millionaire Corner's monthly "Perception of Issues" survey.
Twenty-nine percent of Affluent investors overall (and 30 percent of Millionaire households) said that developments overseas are most impacting their economic outlook. In recent weeks, the European debt crisis as well as the economic slowdown in Asia have dominated business news headlines (our survey was taken before the controversial Facebook IPO). European nations are preparing for the possibility that Greece will break from the European Union, which could trigger a credit crisis and recession that would reverberate around the globe. Weakening demand in developed nations is contributing to manufacturing slowdown in Asian countries, which is further hampering global economic growth.
Sixteen percent of Affluent investors said that Unemployment is the news story most impacting their economic outlook. Earlier this month, the national unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent, a three-year low. But analysts say that the decline is mostly because more people long out of the work force have given up looking for a job and are thus not counted among the unemployed by the government.
The Political Environment, or how lawmakers work, or don’t work, together is the predominant news story 14 percent of Affluent investors said is most impacting their economic outlook. This may increase as the national elections draw nearer. Earlier this month, House Speaker John Boenher proclaimed that another debt ceiling agreement would depend on cuts in spending, setting the stage for a possible repeat of the showdown last summer that led to the first-ever downgrade of the U.S. credit rating and volatile market swings.
Less than 10 percent of Affluent investors said that their economic outlook was impacted by news stories specifically about Stock Market Conditions (7 percent), the Economy (6 percent), Gas/Oil prices (3 percent) and the Deficit (2 percent).
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.