A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my distaste for Autumn, implying that for me it is not a season that engenders pleasure. As evidence, my wife dragged me to several stores on a rainy Saturday as she shopped for Halloween decorations. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my distaste for Autumn, implying that for me it is not a season that engenders pleasure. As evidence, my wife dragged me to several stores on a rainy Saturday as she shopped for Halloween decorations. My birthday falls close to Halloween and she uses this as an excuse to celebrate what has become, in the USA, the second largest consumer spending "holiday." She is always adding to the Halloween decorations and although she talks about excesses I think she secretly likes this "holiday" for its lighthearted, unsentimental atmosphere.
Anyhow, I'm following her around the stores as she considers several table decoration ideas when it occurs to me that this is just another reason I don't like Autumn, it is a "holiday" celebrating death, ghouls, and goblins called All-Souls Day. What a downer.
To compound my regressive attitude the news on the Web has been particularly unnerving these last few days as the U.S. unemployment numbers, while expected, are not good and much is being made of their increasing in the next few months, especially as espoused by several respected authorities.
An economist at Rutgers University, according to the WSJ, says that to replace the 7.2 million jobs lost since December 2007 (the now official start of the recession) and to add the 100,000 needed to keep up with population growth and to attain a 5% unemployment level at the rapid growth pace of the 1990s will take us until late 2017. Thanks a lot, that's another damper on this season.
I keep reminding people that the President says unemployment is a lagging indicator, however, more discouraging is the manufacturing sector number for production output is down and the purchasing agent's index dropped instead of an expected increase last month; more negative news since the autumnal equinox. And these are supposed to be leading indicators.
Companies that I communicate with are certainly not generating any late-year good news, just the opposite in fact. It is rather depressing that the manufacturing sector almost seems to be in a wait-and-see attitude, preferring to write off the last quarter of this year, hoping for a turnaround early in the next year. This is especially disheartening as there are several industrial shows left this year which should have provided an expected boost in attitude. I would have thought that lean U.S. manufacturers were ready to flex their collective muscles.
Questioned about my usual upbeat view of the manufacturing economy I was asked, "Could you have been wrong?" As a reality check I reactivated the DABoMeter for the past five working days and, low and behold, it went slightly negative. I chalk most of it up to the spate of bad news about the unemployment numbers.
My wife picks up a small wooden zombie-like figure from a store shelf, saying it would make a great party favor. I look at the expression on the figure's face and think, "OMG it looks like me hating Autumn." Right there I decide to recalibrate. I won't complain any more about Autumn, besides it's only ten weeks until the start of Winter, and I really hate that.