Cavuto: Emotion and the U.S. Economy

Can I let you in on a little secret?

This economics stuff I do? It's actually pretty simple. It's not nearly as complicated as others make it out to be.

Don't get me wrong, I still like to make my bosses at Fox here think I'm some financial Svengali. But, you want to know the truth? No rocket science. Actually, no science -- period. It's emotion -- all emotion. It really is.

Take this economy... please! I had to say that.

When you take out the statistics and the logarithms and the ratios and the trend lines, when you remove the cash flow charts and the price earnings multiples, you know what this whole financial ball of wax comes down to? Our mood. I'm serious. How we feel.

And apparently a lot of us don't feel too good. In fact, according to The New York Times, seven out of 10 of us to be exact -- that many are convinced we're going in the wrong direction.

That's not good. Because my years of expertise in quantum mood swings tells me, when you don't feel good about where you're going, you're hardly going to go bouncing to the mall and start buying.

Now, I'm not saying you'll shut down the spending. You just won't go wacky on the spending. Because these are not the times folks go spending wacky. They'll treat themselves, but they won't spoil themselves.

Let me explain the difference. When people are treating themselves, you've got a bit of a recovery. When they're spoiling themselves, you've got a bit of a party.

We're recovering. We're not rocking. Because, as I said, we're still bumming and worrying and fretting over jobs that still look iffy, home prices that still look sorry and an economy itself that still looks rocky.

You don't need a chart to tell you that. Look at folks you pass in the street. It's written all over their faces.