We have been hearing a lot lately about the possibility of a “Double Dip” recession lately from President Obama on down to local news reports. It seems like Economists, Prognosticators, Politicians (I know, what do they know) Pundits, Talking Heads, and every other “Tom, Dick, and Harry” seem to have an opinion on the status of our Economic Recovery. What I have found, empirically and anecdotally, is that there are multiple “right” answers to the question.
Many “Leading Indicators” foretell a path to recovery, but there are certainly many statistics that one could cite which inidicate that we are at the beginning of a steep, and/or long, decline. What I have observed is that both may be occurring at the same time; it depends on the “when and where factor” when the number measurement was taken and where you are – your perspective. There certainly are indications that our economy is improving – GDP Growth, Industrial Output, and Retail Sales are all up, but Diesel Fuel Sales have stalled1, our National and Trade Defecits are at records levels, and the number of Americans receiving food stamps is expected to rise from 40 to 43.3 million in the next year. Perhaps, what matters is how each one of us individually is impacted. Personally, I know individuals who are doing quite well financially, in a lousy economy in a state with one of the highest unemployment and foreclosure rates in the country; and others who are unemployed, under-employed, or whose businesses are struggling. Believe me; both groups have a different take on the state of our economy. These are people who work hard, work smart, and are resourceful – but with different outcomes.
Does it matter if the economy is up or down? As I write this I am watching numerous different breeds of birds “attack” bird feeders, fending off rivals to take advantage of an opportunity for an easy meal. If food is scarce or in abundance elsewhere in the neighborhood doesn’t matter. They are all amply fed now, as they have been for years; by the bird feeders. If the bird feeders disappear these little feathered friends will do what’s necessary to survive. Until then, they make sure they eat what they can to remain healthy and strong. Maybe there’s a lesson to be learned from these finches, hummingbirds, woodpeckers and sparrows. Double dip recession or two scoops of optimism? Who cares! Let’s just do what we need to do… and cherish each day as we do it.
1UCLA-Ceridian Pulse of Commerce Index
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