Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!



Economic growth needs to be about more than just talk and projections

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
January 30, 2012

Six months, the second half of the year, later this quarter, etc. What do each of these time references allude to, you ask? Simply put, they are among the many answers I have received over the last three-plus years, when asking people when the economy may improve.

Don’t look now, but the terms “cautious optimism” and signs of improvement” remain at or near the top of the list, when people are asked to describe what is going on in terms of momentum of the economic kind.

Let me be clear, I am not being a negative guy here. After all, some recent numbers we have seen, including fourth quarter GDP coming in at 2.8 percent and increased durable good orders for December up 3 percent, are encouraging. There is no question about that.

What’s more, the American Trucking Associations reported last week that December volumes were strong, with decent annual and sequential gains. Another positive is that U.S. export growth appears to have had a strong 2011 (December numbers are not in just yet).

Now on the “downer” side is still-too-high employment, flattish retail sales, and recent news from the Federal Reserve that it plans to keep short-terms interest rates close to zero through most of 2014, six years after this practice launched as part of an effort to help foster economic growth.

So, as you can tell, there clearly is a long way to go before anyone can truly declare we are back as an economy.

Are we making progress? Yes, make no mistake, we are. But we really need to do much more, whether it be to truly home in on infrastructure development or take an actionable approach towards a real energy policy that could both help the economy and add badly-needed jobs to the U.S.

I realize efforts surrounding both of these things have stalled out in Congress at one point or another, but they are both very much part of the conversation and really need to remain as such to help turn things around, whether it is in six months, the end of next year, in two years or whenever.

Let’s just hope the good outweighs the bad when it comes to economic growth and see what happens from there.

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

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. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Carload volumes were up 2.8 percent at 304,276, and intermodal volume for the week ending August 16 was up 5.4 percent at 270,316 containers and trailers.

Even though this data can be viewed as “old” in the sense that there is not a whole lot new to report about the port labor talks, it does a good job of looking into the mindset of shippers as talks continue.

Company officials said this service will be provided without any type of additional cost for customer shipments traveling from Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana, with expedited services available to customers outside of this area.

FTR says both spot rates and contract rates are heading up in a full capacity environment and with the fall shipping season rapidly approaching, it explained conditions for shippers could further deteriorate.

Read how others are using Business Process Management to achieve ERP success with Microsoft Dynamics AX. Download the free white paper now.

Article Topics

Blogs · Logistics · Economy · All topics

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA