Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It’s not over till the fat lady sings

That sound you are hearing is the wild celebration going on in the ILS office as we revel in response to the notice that the recession was over in June 2009. The Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research made the announcement to deafening silence in Washington on September 20th. The Republicans and the Democrats were reticent to celebrate because the former won’t admit the economy is growing and the latter is still sensitive to the lack of new jobs. The Tea Party doesn’t know how to react as it was good news, and they don’t know how to deal with that; you can’t get mad about good news.

However, we here at ILS are overjoyed. As a matter of fact, we almost decided to make yesterday a company holiday until we got bogged down over the celebration date, September 20th 2010, or the end of June 2009.

We did begin to discuss the timing of the announcement: how come it took so long for the Committee to become aware that the economy had turned? The chairman of the Committee, quoted in the Wall Street Journal,September 21, 2010, said the committee was concerned that announcing the recession had ended a year ago might be confusing as many people “think recession means a bad time and there’s no question we’re [still] in bad times.” Excuse me, since when is good news, of any kind, confusing? When you are down as low as we were in June 2009, any good news is a blessing. You may recall the ILS effort to find a “Sliver of Light” back in those grim days.

The industrial laser marketplace seems to be on a solid upward track, especially in the microprocessing sector. We have been very cautious about the macroprocessing sector, specifically the market segment for laser cutting for sheetmetal fabricating, which stubbornly seems to have reached a neutral phase. Hopes for a stronger recovery in this market have suppliers focusing on EuroBlech next month and Fabtech in November. The former was incorrectly judged as a positive success two years ago when exhibitors misread visitor enthusiasm as a sign of prosperity only to be rudely awakened on December 1 when orders cancelations began to roll in. So, many observers at the Hanover show this year will be extremely cautious in assessing good news from the exhibit floor.

Here at ILS the party is winding down as the ephemeral nature of the celebration took hold and reality set in. We decided that the June 2009 turning point was the official date and not the belated announcement from the government, and that dull employment news overwhelmed a partying mood. Oh well, it was a short but invigorating moment, and I noticed smiles as we returned to our daily routine.

No comments:

Post a Comment