On Wednesdsy Jack Welch, former General Electric chairman and CEO, told Street Signs that he’s seeing a slowdown in the economy as consumers pull back on spending. Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase CEO, said he believes it’s “getting stronger all the time.”
Calling it "the clash of the titans," host Brian Sullivan decided to find out who is right. He asked two members of CNBC’s Small Business Council what signs they are seeing in the economy, and asked them to settle the question of who is right: Dimon or Welch?
Larry Mocha, president of Air Power Systems in Oklahoma City, took Dimon's side. “Things are going well,” he said. “Our problem is, we can’t find workers to get product out the door.”
Marc Schupan, president of Schupan and Sons, was more circumspect. “We are mildly optimistic,” he reports.
After a strong fourth quarter, followed by good numbers in January and February, he said, things were slower in March. Referencing the state of Michigan, where his company is based, he noted that the unemployment rate is down to the lowest rate in the last four years.
Overall, he said, “We are positive, but we are fragile. We have projects that are coming to fruition. We’re optimistic, but not ready to spend money yet. We want to see what happens with the election.”
Let's call it "cautiously optimistic."
In this clash of the titans, the final score: Dimon 2, Welch zip.