A major concern about the economic stimulus package is how much of it is shovel-ready, and how long it will take to get the shovels into the dirt. Another aspect, which won’t require a shovel, is also slow to ignite – a change in the public mood. According to Gallup, at the beginning of February, pre-stimulus passage, 79% of consumers thought the economy was worsening – a number duplicated as of 2/20/09 post-passage.
RBR/TVBR observation: Gallup suggests that even though actual shovels and dollars may not be out there yet, there is still a reasonable expectation that the promise of the cavalry coming to the aid of consumers will brighten their mood in advance of the fact.
That may happen, but it simply isn’t happening yet. We think it will if consumers sense the economic uptick will come before they personally get caught in the downside of the recession.