Monday, February 08, 2010

The Rebounding Economy

So the economy seems to be getting better. Granted, America still doesn't make anything, and can't provide decent middle-class jobs for high school graduates without a college degree- this will bite us in the butt HARD one day. But with time and massive stimulus we seem to be going back to the status quo, more or less.
I have said before that I expected a double-dip. It is still a possibility, especially if government intervention/stimulus stops in 2010. If we don't have a double-dip by Jan 2011 it won't happen, at least not for another 3-4 years.
Here's what I mean. Most companies do quarterly reviews, but the big review is usually in January of every year, where they look back and see how they did the previous year, and adjust accordingly. Everything went crazy in 2008, and companies adjusted drastically in the first months of 2009 to compensate. (Many companies laid off sooner.) 2009 has been difficult- the word my own company used for it was "stale." Companies are seeing now, in Jan 2010, how poor 2009 was, and are adjusting downward again, even though things are on an upswing. (The difference this time is, the early 2009 adjustments were about survival; these early 2010 adjustments are about profitability.) 2010 is going to be a better year, and provided there are no major negative shocks to the system (quick end to gov't intervention, high spikes in fuel prices, etc.) companies in Jan 2011 will get the message and start expanding again, cautiously. If this happens, 2011 will be even better than 2010, and within the first few months of 2012 we will be out of the woods. It will still take a few years to drag unemployment back down, but the engine to get that done will be in gear and steaming along.
The recovery (to "status quo") is fragile. One can only cross their fingers.

No comments: