Aunt Jill on The 404: Will Apple save the economy?

For some reason, I seem to appear on CNET's 404 with Jeff and Justin when Apple news is about to break. If you have been hiding under a rock, you many not realize that Apple is set to unveil the new iPhone 5 tomorrow. But here's the wild thing: it's not just a new product, the iPhone may boost the entire U.S. economy.

According to JP Morgan economist Mike Feroli, the iPhone 5 could add a whopping 0.33 percent to the nation's economic growth. Maybe that doesn't seem like a lot, but considering that the economy only grew by an annualized pace of 1.85 percent in the first half of the year, the Apple impact could be significant.

The economy needs all the help it can get, especially with the "Fiscal Cliff" looming -- that's the the combination of tax increases and spending cuts, which are scheduled to go into effect January 2013. The Congressional Budget office estimates that the combination would send the US economy back into recession and drive up unemployment by a full percentage point, to over 9 percent. See what I mean? If it takes a few more Apple products to help out, that would be just fine!

404 fans can e-mail financial questions any time to: askjill@moneywatch.com.

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    Jill Schlesinger, CFP®, is the Editor-at-Large for CBS MoneyWatch. She covers the economy, markets, investing or anything else with a dollar sign. Prior to the launch of MoneyWatch in 2009, Jill was the chief investment officer for an independent investment advisory firm. In her infancy, she was an options trader on the Commodities Exchange of New York.

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