The recent increase in housing starts, decrease in new claims for unemployment compensation are positive signs that Europe’s debt problem is not affecting US growth.
The Paryoll Tax Extension bill finally passed Congress, but the arguing among Republicans and Democrats is hurting small business confidence–63% said it is making them more pessimistic.
The recession hurt employment in Hispanics/Latino-owned small businesses more than it did for any other race or ethnic group; 55% of Hispanic businesses cut their work force while 29% cut it by 50% or more.
Two decades ago, European countries were very critical of Latin American and African countries that were saddled with tremendous debt. Now, Europe is facing the same problem–the chickens have come home to roost.
According to the Gazelle Index, more than twice as many small businesses plan to hire workers than to lay off workers over the next three months. This is true for businesses owned by blacks, whites, men and women–but not for Hispanic/Latinos.
The US economy is facing a triple threat: fallout from the European sovereign debt crisis, the stalemate in Washington surrounding the budget deficit, and consumer and investor uncertainty.
The Gazelle Index is a national survey of small businesses owned by whites, blacks, Hispanics, men and women. Small business hiring will increase in 2012 in all regions except the West and for all groups except Hispanics.
Large US financial institutions are heavily invested in euro zone countries; Bank of America, J.P. Morgan and Citigroup each have over $14 billion invested in the five worst countries. If they default, US bank lending will be curtailed significantly.