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By nature I am an optimist, but even the most optimistic of people might be persuaded that the end of the world is nigh with all of the negative news that we are bombarded with. We are in more debt than ever ... this from the same people that wanted us to spend to keep the economy going! We are worried about inflation ... but the inflation figures are not bad! We worry about deflation ... duh!!! There are countries having trouble recovering from the recession .. but there are countries doing very well, Germany and Canada would be just two of them!
The truth is that there are more ways for people to get themselves into your face today than there have ever been ... and everybody is an expert! Bad news gets attention ... nice stuff is just kinda nice! So we hear negative, negative, negative ... BUT our economy needs us to have confidence!
Here is what I know ...
My company, Eagle, has experienced steady but slow recovery from the recession through most of 2010. The last three months have been extremely busy ... and we are in the "jobs" business, surely that is a good indicator!
The Canadian Staffing Industry has seen slow and steady recovery over the course of 2010 too. We have an index that measures that growth ... its benchmark of 100 was set pre-recession in July 2008 and the depths of the recession saw the industry shrink by 35% to a reading of 65 in May 2009. The latest reading was in October, at 94 ... and I expect November to be up again based on Eagle's experiences. That is a recovery, slow or not ... we are getting better and better!
Every indicator i can think of is positive in contrast to the recession, which means we are heading the right way ... right?
My investment portfolio has returned to its former glory (OK it seems to be back where it was before the recession)!
Unemployment rates in Canada are hovering around 8% ... which would imply that the professions are probably facing skill shortages (and that is what we are seeing in the staffing industry).
Interest rates are still low enough that companies can invest without paying punitive interest charges, yet high enough to attract foreign investment.
The oil patch is busy and growing again.
The banks are held up as a model for the world, are expanding, busy and doing well.
Canada weathered the recession better than most, and continues to perform strong on the world stage.
The true problem here is that any economy depends to a large extent on an intangible factor, called confidence! If we let the naysayers undermine that confidence then we will be hurting our recovery. I don't think I look at the world through rose coloured glasses, in my world the recovery continues and the signs are positive.
I saw two reports just this morning that were positive (so yes, some people still report good stuff) ... the Royal Bank issues a report suggesting that they expect the Canadian economic growth to speed up, YIPPEE! Another report from the US Business Roundtable tells us that CEOs of large US companies are much more optimistic about the economy, expecting increased sales, more investment and more jobs!
We have been through a recession, we know bad things happen and we need to be pragmatic. BUT, when the signs have been positive for so long surely its time to BELIEVE ... I believe that the glass is MORE THAN HALF FULL!!!!!
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)