Turning the corner? I don't know

March 12, 2009
By: Dan Davis

I love conversations with my dad. Not too much is said, but I tend to learn a lot from these brief encounters. Take this interaction when I was a teenager:

He"s the equivalent of spoken text messaging. He"s also the reason that I don"t offer too many thoughts on the current state of this economy. I just don"t know.

Of course, if my dad were a television news network or business channel programmer, you wouldn"t have any talking head programs to watch. It would be just the facts, ma"am.

I don"t know is not a suitable response when Anderson Cooper or Maria Bartiromo is asking a question. Also, I"m guessing it"s not acceptable for someone with an Ivy League degree to admit to not knowing something.

But you can"t simply cut yourself off from news about the economy. I"ll just let others handle the discussion.

Chris Kuehl, an economic analyst for the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association and author of the Business Intelligence Brief from his Armada Corporate Intelligence consultancy, has digested points of views from several blue chip economists, and the majority of opinion seems to be positive. The widely optimistic forecasters believe the second quarter may inch up from negative territory and reach a flat status, but hold out for growth of 3 percent by the end of the fourth quarter. The pessimistic prognosticators see no growth for the rest of the year, but numbers that are better than the first half of 2009. All parties believe 2010 will be better.

So metal fabricators have that going for them.

That coincides with the plan of attack for many metal fabricators I"ve either talked to or read about. They all seem to be holding on and talking survival. Some have cut payroll either through layoffs or reduced work schedules. Others have kept everyone on the payroll, but are attacking projects around the shop, such as reorganization of equipment or even construction projects.

At least one quarter of this year is now almost history.

Of course, other experts have much more dire predictions for the economic future of the U.S. Igor Panarin, a Russian analyst, is calling for an outright collapse of the country.

He should have said, I don"t know when asked what he thought of this country"s future.

If that idiocy doesn"t cheer you up, check out Miracle. I know that will.

Dan Davis

Dan Davis

FMA Communications Inc.
2135 Point Blvd
Elgin, IL 60123
Phone: 815-227-8281