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    When Will the Economy Recover?
    The Vault

    When Will the Economy Recover?

    March 2012

    When Will the Economy Recover?I follow a few different economists – being in Charlotte and all. One that I follow that doesn't work for the big banks is Alan Beaulieu. He and his brother are the heads of the Institute of Trend Research and are nationally recognized speakers on the economy and more specifically the localization of the economy for middle market companies (which is why I like them).

    Recently Beaulieu gave his outlook for 2012 (webcast is also available at the link). On the positive end, he forecasts, as most economists do, continued recovery for 2012. He also forecasts a slowdown in late 2013 based on an increase in tax rates and another probable recession in 2014.

    It's tough to read information like this but my resolution is to try and make use of components of their advice – primarily what they call 'make your move' ideas that are geared primarily around customer service and market share. Specifically, they advocate:

    1. Focus on customer service and training
    2. Fix capacity constraints
    3. Expand customer credit as a means of gaining market share
    4. Invest in marketing differentiation and other competitive advantages

    In English – I read this as 'grab as much as you can and hang onto it before another down turn.' So how is this any different than any other year? I interpret Beaulieu as saying 'don't be afraid to invest to gain some market share, but don't go hog-wild. Make sure that in the latter part of 2013 you are preparing to have cash and debt available.' Not a bad idea.

    I think we all learned something in the Great Recession (that some might argue is still going on today) and that's that eventually the music stops – it always does. I think we still need to learn how to evaluate when we're listening to the last few songs, rather than the last verse of the last song.

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