Dennis Lockhart has a large role in big economic decisions.
As president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, which serves the Sixth Federal Reserve District, covering Alabama, Florida and Georgia, as well as parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee, he is responsible for all the Banks activities, including monetary policy, bank supervision and regulation and payment services.
Lockhart also has a role at the federal level, serving on the Federal Reserves chief monetary policy body, the Federal Open Market Committee.
But he took a moment after speaking at East Tennessee State University on Friday to talk about Main Street, not Washington, D.C., and small businesses, not world economies.
Small business owners are still going to be cautious and careful with their growth-oriented investments, as are consumers, Lockhart told his audience.
In other words, consumer confidence, while growing modestly this month after falling for several previous months, is still shaky. Families most likely wont go on that expensive vacation.
Businesses arent likely to spend capital or hire more employees, either, until they can hear better news on the economic front.
Small businesses need to be able to predict more customers, or that current customers will spend more, before they can begin to feel more confidence in the overall economy.
In that, they must rely on day-to-day sales and the attitude of customers that come into their shops to feel out the strength of their own business.