Suspense over next employment report

Amid the economic cheerleading at the RNC, Team Bush may be getting a bit antsy about the mood of the U.S. consumer. Research outfit Action Economics reports that the Conference Board's Delos Smith told CNBC that the White House and Fed were anxious to get early clues as to this month's Consumer Confidence survey. Of course, the Fed and Wall Street are eager to see whether the "soft patch" persisted into the third quarter, notes Action, but so is the administration ahead of the November elections. Employment conditions over the next couple of months are critical to the Bush re-election effort. While a rebound of 300,000 or better is possible on Friday's number given the softness in June and July, Action speculates that such an outcome may lead conspiracy theorists to suggest that the numbers were "cooked."

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