Although the U.S. presidential election will soon be over that hasn’t stopped companies from complaining the election has not been good for business.
Reasons vary as do sectors affected. From the smallest of small businesses to some of the largest companies on the planet, the blame game is in full swing.
Uncertainty Leads The Pack
Sonoco Products (NYSE:SONC) CEO Jack Sanders also cited uncertainty about the election even while saying, "Really what I was trying to say is that as I look around there is probably no reason for the malaise that I see in the economy because I think things are actually pretty good.”
Sanders went on to say, “There is a significant amount of uncertainty in the marketplace and that’s more domestic relative to the certain the election and what’s going to happen after that."
CEO Tom Joyce of Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHRC) mentioned the election but threw in pretty everything but the kitchen sink when he said, "There is a number of sources of uncertainty in the market today whether that’s the election uncertainty in the U.S., the Brexit uncertainty throughout Europe, the questions around turns in some of the high growth markets or previously known as high growth markets as I sometimes say around places like Latin America, the Middle East, Russia and particularly those markets with a good deal of commodity exposure and certainly those with a high degree of industrial exposure.”
For some, like PulteGroup (NYSE:PHMB) CEO Ryan Marshall, the problem revolves around potential homebuyers pausing to wait for results in order to see the impact on everything from earning power to job growth to the general climate in the event there is a shift of political power.
Wagler wasn’t concerned about who wins, just that it would be prudent to wait and see what happens with potential construction projects in 2017 and throughout the first half of next year.
Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPIB), the third-largest automotive dealer in the U.S. and its CEO Earl Hesterberg is anxious to see what public mood is after the election. From Hesterberg’s viewpoint, the current cycle has created a lot of distraction, something he hopes disappears after the election.
From the perspective of BJ's Restaurant (NASDAQ:BJRIC) chain, softer days around the presidential election (depressed appetites?) could join a weekend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to have a negative impact on comp sales this year.
When it comes to fallout from this year’s election, one great unknown is the role a lack of consumer confidence has played. As of the end of October, the Consumer Confidence Index dropped 5%, the lowest level since May.
Whether confidence will recover following the election remains to be seen. A recent BlackRock survey of more than 1,600 Americans found that almost two-thirds of respondents said they believed the results of the election would have a large impact on the U.S. economy.