Monday, May 19, 2008

That Stubborn Recession

That stubborn recession. Won't it ever come? What? Surely we are in one? You have to wonder in light of a recent press release from the Conference Board which provides updates of economic activity. The problem is simple. It takes two quarters (six months) of continued economic decline to have a recession. We have been crying "recession" for almost a year, but have struggled to tie together months of decline. It has been really difficult for the doomsayers.

The Conference Board today has only made it even tougher. In a recent press release they point out that there has been an 0.1 percent increase in the Composite Index of Economic Indicators in April and this is the second month in a roll that we have seen such an increase. In March it went up 0.4 percent. It doesn't bode well for those who celebrate decline. The index measures the following ten areas (from Investopedia.com):

1. the average weekly hours worked by manufacturing workers

2. the average number of initial applications for unemployment insurance

3. the amount of manufacturers' new orders for consumer goods and materials

4. the speed of delivery of new merchandise to vendors from suppliers

5. the amount of new orders for capital goods unrelated to defense

6. the amount of new building permits for residential buildings

7. the S&P 500 stock index

8. the inflation-adjusted monetary supply (M2)

9. the spread between long and short interest rates

10. consumer sentiment

The most recent report average a net increase in the above areas. Read the complete release for more details.

I admit, I have seen indicators that the economy is a little softer than I would normally like to admit and I know places other than my Houston have been hard hit. I have seen office space available longer than most would prefer, I have seen a jump in the price of our family's gallon of milk, and other signs of struggle. But this is a remarkably resilient economy and seems to be quietly proving that in spite of headlines with a really negative message.

According to recent surveys on marketing, most advertising attracts sellers (others who want you to buy more ads) and not buyers. Do you want to know why? Email info@HoustonBusinessShow.com and put "marketing audio" in the subject line and we will get it to you.

Kevin Price is Host of the Houston Business Show (M-F at 11 AM on CNN 650) and Publisher of the Houston Business Review. Hear the show live and online at HoustonBusinessShow.com. Visit the archive of past shows here.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel the recession every day and I live in Texas too.

7:39 AM  

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