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Say It Ain’t So

Although news outlets recently reported that the recession officially ended in June 2009, the message does not seem to have made much difference to those living on the front lines in the business community.  Borrowing is still difficult and unemployment remains high.
 
The latest quarterly Duke University/CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook Survey shows that only 14% of U.S. CFOs, out of 937 surveyed in early September, are more optimistic about the economy than they were last quarter.  A staggering 57% noted they were less optimistic.
 
Main Street isn’t faring much better.  A new poll from CNN/Opinion Research Corporation found that a nearly three-quarters of Americans believe the economy is still in a recession.
 
What is it going to take for the pessimism to abate?  I’m not sure anyone knows the answer to that question but when housing-related industries begin to rebound, businesses resume hiring to meet growth expectations and consumers start spending again in earnest, we might hear some real-world positive data about the state of the economy.

 

Laurie Berman, lberman@pondel.com