There is a great deal of fear and uncertainty out there. On the one hand it's sad to see peoples' lives disrupted and destroyed. On the other hand, people are worrying about how they are going to pay their gasoline bills and their home heating bills this winter. It makes for a pretty bleak view of the future.
There's no question we're getting back to better days for job creation. There's been a sense of unease in the American workplace and this should help relieve that. The economy is getting on off to excellent start in 2006.
Consumers are still willing to spend, even with the high energy prices, and capital investment is booming. By the second half of the year, we'll see the cumulative effect of interest- rate increases begin to bite and the economy slow.
It is inevitable that we will see a 1% or 1.5% decline in retail sales in an upcoming month as consumers become sated with new vehicles. ... This will not be an indication of any particular vulnerability.