Press of Atlantic City: State economy should worry South Jersey more than volatile stocks

At one point Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had fallen 780 points. Drops of hundreds of points, partial rebounds and more drops have characterized the stock market this fall.

Time to worry? Not much, and even a normal cyclical recession doesn’t seem imminent. Certainly nothing like the financial panic that led to the severe recession of 2007-2009, which shrank economies from South Jersey to the United States and beyond.

With the Dow still above 24,000 and not that far from record levels hit earlier this year, a share-price change of just 3 percent produces a 700-point swing. And the stock market and the economy aren’t the same thing. They sometimes go their separate ways.

South Jersey happens to have a national-stature economist who weighed in on this Thursday, saying the markets seemed to believe the Trump administration’s tax cuts “would produce an extended period of excessively high growth.” Joel Naroff, whose second home is in Margate, said the U.S. economy remains in good shape, even as the markets are overvalued and in disarray.

The same day, the New Jersey Business & Industry Association released its annual Business Outlook Survey, which made clear the state poses significant threats to the regional economy.

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