HAVE WE BOTTOMED OUT ON THIS RECESSION YET?

Being in the publishing business and a very active reader (I read between 5-10 magazines and newspapers a day), there is a mixed sentiment on the recession and if we had hit bottom yet. Having been in the wholesale and retail industry since 1981 I have weathered a few storms in my time.

The pundits had originally said that we had not bottomed out yet and there might still be a while to do. That was a few months ago. There has been a lot more positive news lately and we have seen it reflected in slowing unemployment numbers as well as a little rallying in the stock market.

I think that we may have seen the worst and according to many turnarounds I have been reading lately it is estimated that the changes will start by the third quarter. The latest bank stress tests were encouraging and set the stock market to a level that wiped out this year’s loss figures. We also just got word that April retail sales figures were better than expected.

It looks like the brakes are on and we are making headway in improving our economy. Consumer polls are showing that there is a bit more confidence in the marketplace and they are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. Being that a great part of this recession was the consumer halting their spending, this perspective is important.

I see from the calls we are getting that there is more business being conducted in the wholesale merchandise industry than has been during the last quarter. Trade show attendance is rising slightly and there is more confidence by our fellow businesspeople. When people start spending again we will be more secure in feeling that the worst is over — and there has been a little spending recently.

We’d like you to share your opinions. Do you feel more confident that things are on the upswing? What part of the country are you from and how are you finding local business? Take a minute to share with us.

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