In light of recent atmospheric events, the results of the latest IA Poll almost need no introduction. When IA put up the latest poll, on September 1st, Katrina had just devastated the Gulf Coast region, home to so many U.S. oil exploration and refining interests, and nobody could have predicted the one-two punch of Rita following so soon after. In terms of human and economic disruption it is hard to think of events that equal the pain these storms have inflicted. With oil prices hitting $70 per barrel we had to ask in our IA Poll: “Which economic issue is most important to you, your practice, and your clients?”
The poll’s results showed that two issues eclipsed all others by far: 32% of readers say that the most important economic issue is the long-term effect of higher oil prices, while 29% say inflation is most important. Interest rates followed with 19% of the vote, and real estate prices received 13%. The return of the 30-year Treasury Bond left most respondents unconcerned, with only 3% saying it is their top economic issue. Only 3% say that there was an “other” most important issue but did not specify what that issue is.