Ok. I'm here to provide the small business cfo's opinion on all the negative economic news out there. But first. PLEASE BEWARE. Everyone, especially business owners like to think that nothing strongly influences them without their consent. Not so. Studies show that people surrounded by negative thinkers tend to think negatively. And vice versa. Although the news is not a person, reading, listening to, and watching the same negative information over and over provides the same adverse impact on one's psyche as repeatedly engaging with and listening to a bunch of naysayers. What do most self-improvement books say about naysayers. You have to let them go! The same goes with the news. Don't let all that negativity wear you down and wear you out.
As a small business cfo and business owner, I believe wholeheartedly in keeping my pulse on what's happening around the world financially and economically. But most of what the news is now is not reporting but pontificating. It's not: "The 2010 Census reported a xx% decrease in income." It's: "The Census' report means that income is trending downward and expected to do so for the next xx years." Comprende? 95% news. 5% opinion. If you ever read Freakanomics, you'll know that the vast majority of the economic pundits quoted in the news are wrong! Of course, you don't know they're wrong until 1,3, or 5 years later (the term of their predictions). By then most have forgotten what the pundits said. But Freakanomics tracked it. And so do I. (To a much lesser extent!)
From a small business cfo perspective, what you believe is what you get. People and businesses rise to the level of expectation. Your company finances will begin to reflect your thoughts. If you allow all the negative reporting -including negative spin on positive results - to sink in, it could adversely impact your business. You may concede or give up. Remember, someone (or someones) is always doing well no matter how the economy is doing.