We are at a point again in the business cycle where the national media hold a powerful tool and heavy responsibility when it comes to accurately reporting on economic trends. The danger is that one-line headlines and sound bites about recession can spook U.S. consumers into their shells and create the proverbial self-fulfilling prophecy.
The first three articles in this issue offer a few different viewpoints from economists on the state of the economy, the impact of the credit crunch,” and what our readers might consider based on the current climate. We do not predict the falling of the sky. And as economist Alan Beaulieu notes in the cover story: “The U.S. economy is in better shape than most people think it is.”
That’s not to discount the very tough conditions selling into automotive and any housing-related industries, but the structure of the U.S. economy looks very different than six years ago, when the national media missed the severity of the industrial downturn. Export industries are stronger today. Distributors selling into energy-related sectors, from oil and gas to electrical utilities, have seen continued good growth.
So it should concern us all when headlines and pictures focus on the extremes in specific sectors, within a narrow snapshot of time. It is another reminder that the best strategy is to build in diversity into not just your customer base, but your product and service offerings as well.
In our effort for accuracy, MDM has expanded its coverage of European and global markets in the past two years to reflect the growing impact and opportunities for distributors. As a resource, we have expanded our online statistics page, MDM Databank, to include key monthly economic indicators for the U.S., Canada and Europe.