By Susie Gharib
August 25, 2016

Higher interest rates are the new worry for investors, businesses, and consumers. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s comments this weekend at a meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming could set the stage for policymakers to raise rates in September.

But one CEO tells Fortune’s Susie Gharib that he sees no reason to be concerned.
Michael Polk runs Newell Brands, the giant consumer products company that sells well-known household brands like Paper Mate pens, Rubbermaid food storage containers, and Mr. Coffee machines. He says a small hike in interest rates won’t hurt his business. “I don’t think in the next six to nine to 12 months that’s a material variable for everyday consumers,” he says.

Polk is also pretty upbeat about the U.S. economy, despite what presidential candidates have been saying on the campaign trail. “I’m more optimistic rather than pessimistic about the economic environment in the U.S. than maybe some of the headlines and some of the candidates are suggesting,” he says. From the way his business is going, he adds, “We don’t see any headwinds at the moment.”

He’s expecting the economy to “tread water” through the end of the year, growing at an anemic 2%. But he has some advice for presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to rev up the American economy, and encourage entrepreneurship and business investment.


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