Stormy Weather

Feb. 9, 2011

These past couple of weeks, central and northern Indiana have been rocked with snow, sleet, freezing rain and wind—plus extreme cold! These meteorological phenomena have begun to wear down even the best of us to a seasonal depression. The good news is that winter gloom will soon give way to spring.

Much like the meteorological storms, our world economy has been rocked by unrelenting bad news in the past three years. This economic storm has created a depression for many and a recession for all. Fortunately, in the past 90 days or so, our spirits have been buoyed by positive signs. Holiday retail sales were up this year, and businesses are showing renewed interest in expanding, thus creating demand for borrowing.

So we gaze ahead, anticipating an up business cycle, much as we look forward to spring. The difference is that business cycles take considerably longer—usually a few years—compared to meteorological cycles that tick away predictably. The similarity is that we never fully know the severity of either until we are caught up in a storm.

We must remain hopeful that recent economic signs are indeed the beginning of the end of this recession. We must remain hopeful that real wages will increase, and job seekers will find gainful employment. But remember, it will take a while to get there. Spring may be coming within weeks, but a robust economy—while visible on the horizon—will likely take another year or two.

– S. Joe DeHaven

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