Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Celebrating Thanksgiving

Here in the United States we celebrate Thanksgiving Day as a national holiday to give thanks for the good things that have happened since the last celebration. It’s a feast day in every meaning of the word: a time for overindulgence in food and drink and, for some, for unending doses of football, both live and on television.

In my family we treat this as a family holiday; an opportunity to gather as many as possible to enjoy a sumptuous meal and each other's company. I like this holiday because there is no pressure to find gifts as will be the case at Christmas.

This year, I as the host, will make brief remarks about the celebration. What I won’t be saying to the family is a comment about the relief I have that the economy has turned, especially in the industrial laser markets, and the pleasure I have with the remarkable recovery and return to profitability this industry has experienced.

Two years ago, on Thanksgiving, we were on the cusp of what was to be the worst recession in laser history, only we did not know it at the time. A year ago the first glimmers of the end of the recession were appearing, even though we were to experience a few more months of uncertainty, and at Thanksgiving I could have included this optimism in my remarks at the feast.

Having said this, I rail at those who, for some undisclosed reason, are trying to dampen the pleasure of the recovery by dire predictions that what we are enjoying is ephemeral at best. The ugly words “double dip” have reared their head again. All the indicators we use to measure the health of the manufacturing economy have been positive about recovery and growth. And yet the naysayers interpret this same information negatively, choosing to find flaws in the reasoning and "debunk" market indicators.

So as I ponder on this, after a magnificent dinner, my satisfaction level is not quite as full as my stomach. So I am ignoring the naysayers because business prospects are good, and this does not include the fabricated metal sector, which is the last to return to profitable growth. My forecast for the coming year is modest increases in all segments, and secretly I think it can be better than that.

So, I sit back, satisfied that all is well; at least on the feast day. Isn’t that what it is all about?

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