An economic state of confusion

By Jeff Berman · August 13, 2010

So, I hear the economy is doing better. Wait—it isn’t? If this train of thought rings a bell, you are clearly not alone these days, when it comes to assessing how the economy is going, as well as its prospects for future growth.

I say this, because I talk to people that know a lot more about the economy than I do on a daily basis, and, guess what, they’re confused, too.

Where did this confusion begin? That may be hard to say, because different people have different takes about this Great Recession that we may or may not be in, depending on whom you ask.

But one thing that is becoming increasingly hard to overlook, no matter how bright your pom-poms are, is that there is more genuine concern about the economy in the last 4 or 5 weeks than there ostensibly was throughout the entire first half of 2009, when we were getting good economic news and seeing positive trends on a somewhat consistent basis. Granted, much of this good news stemmed from very forgiving annual comparisons. But in a recession, we tend to take all the good news we can get.

Anyhow, as we come off an earnings season which saw the Lion’s share of publicly traded transportation and logistics companies have excellent quarters, the million dollar question seems to be if that will be repeated in the third quarter. Based on an increasing trade deficit, somewhat stagnant retail sales numbers, and consumer anxiety, it may stand to reason that the chips are stacked against this happening, but what the heck do I know?

In any event, it is safe to state these are extraordinary economic times. I mean, there are so many things occurring in the sectors we cover that I often feel like my news “to-do” list is overflowing. Actually, that is a fact, not an assumption. In the past few weeks alone, we have seen a stalled energy bill, a terrific earnings season, an uptick in M&A activity, and an over all sense of optimism and pessimism all rolled into one big fact-pinion (yes, I just made up that word).

Anyhow, at the end of the day, I write about what is going on in the world of transportation and logistics and try to break it down into a digestible format for you, my readers. Now, if someone could only give me a straight answer on what the heck is going on with the economy…..grin!

Have a great weekend and thanks for reading http://www.logisticsmgmt.com and Newsroom Notes.

 


About the Author

Jeff Berman
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

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