What is this, a conspiracy? No sooner did I return from Munich, where optimism on global economics reigned supreme, then I began to hear that old bugaboo: double-dip recession. The one not-so-positive Manufacturing Index report after a string of upbeat months caused the scare birds hit the media. This, of course, was fodder for the announced and soon-to-announce presidential candidates, quadrupling the noise.
As the days went by, the recession drumbeat grew louder as employment news was less than stellar, and it didn’t help that the President was wishy-washy speaking? about the economy on Tuesday.
All I have to say is: Thanks, guys. I spent a week in Munich at Laser World of Photonics singing the praises of recovery in the manufacturing community and bragging about the performance of the industrial laser leaders who were on a tear revenue-wise. The dozens of companies I interviewed in Munich, for the most part, supported my optimism, and I only heard a few concerns about how the US housing market would hamper further growth.
So here I am three weeks prior to my Mid Year Report on the Global Laser Marketplace and I’m having second thoughts about my PowerPoint slides. Come on, guys, cut me some slack and at least let me make it past the 30th before I have to retract my glowing forecast for the remainder of 2011. Especially you, Mr. Bernanke. You have been, self-admittedly, wrong before; are you sure your gloom is couched in reality?
When queried about my optimistic forecast at a meeting last week, I stated that I could not see any reason why US manufacturing couldn’t weather a little negative news. Foreign exchange rates make exporting a joy here in the States and businesses are expanding with caution so they haven’t overloaded payrolls, and what they are selling is wanted everywhere in the world. So maybe we have a little indigestion, but it's nothing a good burp can’t handle.
Finally, thanks for the many concerns received from friends and acquaintances, near and far, concerning my status after the EF3 tornado cut a ¼ mile swath through Sturbridge. We did not experience any damage to our house even though the storm passed less than a mile away, spawning several random microburst’s, one about a 1000 yards from my house. Thirty-nine miles of South Central Massachusetts from Springfield to Charlton took a devastating beating, but we are all rallying to help the recovery in that good old Yankee community spirit.