Since the beginning of my career at OEM Off-Highway magazine, I have seen one of the greatest (unsustainable) economic times in 2007 and 2008 come crashing down into one of the worst, and now I am fortunate enough to be witnessing the slow climb back to [the new] normal. It has been hard to keep our economic reports encouraging, especially with a slew of rather negative headlines.
Speaking of headlines, I thought it would be interested to see the economic trend since 2007 through the headlines of the Economic Outlook section:
Slower movements (May 2007)
Widespread signs (July 2007)
Scary conditions (September 2007)
Temporary blip (October 2007)
Still under stress (November 2007)
Downshifting (January 2008)
Aggressive policy moves (February 2008)
Can it be avoided? (March 2008)
Recovery in the second half (May 2008)
Avoided? (July 2008)
Not so good (October 2008)
Silver linings (May 2009)
A turning point? (July 2009)
Over...technically (September 2009)
Growing again (October 2009)
Positive growth (November/December 2009)
An encouraging note (February 2010)
Sizzling growth (March 2010)
More signs of improving economy (May/June 2010)
Still on the road to recovery, but... (July/August 2010)
Export support (October 2010)
Tepid progress until 2012? (January/February 2011)
A positive big picture (March 2011)
Supply chain disruptions (April 2011)
Not great, not good...better (July/August 2011)
Evidence of a slowdown (September 2011)
Economic stalemate (October 2011)
While it may not appear encouraging, there are positive messages to take away from reading beyond the headline. For example, in Frank Manfredi's Market Forecast column on page 44, he sees a 9% growth in 2012, mainly in the mining equipment markets. The housing market is predicted to have an ever-so-slight uptick which will also encourage skid steer and compact equipment sales.
In the article from Grant Thornton's Wally Gruenes on page 40, the survey results found that while manufacturers are pessimistic, they know what would make them feel more optimistic, that being a job creation program.
Although the outlook doesn't look thrilling, "Slow progress is still progress," as we made clear in our annual State of the Industry section starting on page 12. This year we decided to make the interviews a bit more personal than in years past. I hope you find the interviews in-depth and informative.
Be sure to head online to read these interviews in full!