TOP
STORIES
 1 of 5
Flashback Friday: 7 Super-Scary Wiring Scenarios
CI is bringing back our Halloween-themed guide to feeling great about your company's wiring techniques. What's the worst wiring scenario you've encountered?
 2 of 5
ESPN Makes Digital Splash with Eye-Popping SportsCenter Upgrade
Mobile displays, video floor, social media wall among many highlights of the new SportsCenter digital studio DC-2.
 3 of 5
Mission Critical 411 on Control Room Integration
Integrators with long histories in this space discuss how projects and customer demands are different than others.
 4 of 5
How Boston College Gets Fans off Comfy Couches, onto Metal Benches
Boston College installs new Daktronics 13HD LED video boards at Alumni Stadium to draw fans to the in-game experience.
 5 of 5
Top 10 Dante-Enabled Products
Check out 10 key products that have received the increasingly important Dante touch.
State of the Economy
The economy is starting to rebound, things are starting to look better for businesses - a little bit, at least.

Article


January 09, 2013 | by Phillip M. Perry

Overcast with clearing skies. That’s the economic forecast as the nation enters a new year. Drizzly conditions will remain at least for the first half of 2013 as consumers clutch their pocketbooks and commercial activity is constrained. Light should break through the clouds in summer and fall, though, as critical uncertainties are resolved, encouraging corporate hiring, capital investment and consumer spending. In short, things are looking up, but the coming year as a whole is not expected to bring significant relief over 2012.

“We expect the recovery to remain lackluster,” says Sophia Koropeckyj, managing director of industry economics at Moody’s Analytics, a research firm based in West Chester, Pa. “The pace of growth will be too slow to meaningfully bring the unemployment rate below 8 percent.”

The numbers tell the tale. The most common measure of the nation’s economic health is growth in gross domestic product (GDP), the annual total of all goods and services produced in the United States. Moody’s expects GDP to increase by 2.4 percent in 2013. That’s not much of an improvement over the 2.3 percent anticipated for 2012 when figures are finally tallied.

The Moody’s forecast might not seem that bad, given that the GDP increase for an economy in average growth mode is 2.5 percent. But there’s a problem: A nation recovering from a recession needs more robust expansion.

“By most measures, this recovery is among the weakest in the past 50 years,” says Koropeckyj, who points to a number of factors holding back the recovery. “Fiscal restraint on the local and national level, weaker global demand, a housing market that has hit bottom but has a long way to go to become healthy, and weak income growth are all constraining a stronger pickup in employment.” Other factors are the weakening economies of China and Europe - both important markets for U.S. exports.

The weight of those sticking points combines to dampen the public mood.

“Consumer confidence is still at a level consistent with a recession,” says Scott Hoyt, senior director of consumer economics for Moody’s. “Consumers remain concerned about economic conditions. There is still … weak growth in wages, volatile stocks and high gasoline prices. Th ere are a lot of things to keep consumers on edge.”

While consumer confidence ticked upward in early fall, public jitters will only be reinforced by the major weight of a constraining federal fiscal policy. Consumers will be impacted in particular by the anticipated terminations of two initiatives: the social security payroll tax holiday and extended unemployment insurance benefits. Reduced federal spending, by eliminating some jobs, will also have an indirect, but significant, effect on consumers.

Given these depressants, Moody’s expects the nation to muddle along through the early months of 2013 as the fiscal policy debate heats up, with improving performance expected in the summer.

Corporate Profits

Though the economy remains troubled, many large corporations are thriving. Indeed, they have been stockpiling cash to position themselves for a fresh round of capital and labor investment when the market rebounds.

“Businesses are in excellent financial health; their costs are down and they have become highly competitive and profitable,” says Koropeckyj. “Employers have little slack in their labor forces so layoffs have declined dramatically.”

Reports from the field reinforce this assessment.

“Of the one thousand or so companies that we watch closely, sales generally are strong,” says Michael Smeltzer, director of the Manufacturers Association of South Central Pennsylvania, a trade group whose members employ some 200,000 workers. What remains weak, though, is “backlog,” sales booked for future delivery.

Social Bookmark or Share This
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Google Bookmarks
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Windows Live
  • LinkedIn
  • Evernote
  • E-mail


  • Latest
  • Blogs
  • Photos
  • Resources
Tales of the Mentors Who Made Us Who We Are

CI, along with InfoComm, NSCA's Chuck Wilson and Zdi's Jay McArdle, takes a step back to appreciate the mentors who get young, tech-savvy professionals excited about a career in the integration industry.

Redefining the Control Systems Programmer
An AV Guy's Guide to Talking IT
What Are You Thinking… Seeking RMR From Yesteryear’s Trends?
5 Strategies for Selling and Renewing Service Plans
View more blog posts
Flashback Friday: 7 Super-Scary Wiring Scenarios

Chances are, when this story was published one year ago, you didn't learn anything from our Halloween-themed gallery of scary wiring scenarios. But hopefully it made you feel great about your own company's wiring techniques. Check it out for this week's edition of Flashback Friday.

InFocus LiteShow 4 Transmits Digital Content to Projectors & Displays
ESPN Makes Digital Splash with Eye-Popping SportsCenter Upgrade
How Boston College Gets Fans off Comfy Couches, onto Metal Benches
Top 10 Dante-Enabled Products
View more photo galleries
White Paper:
Campuses Banking on Emergency Notification, Upgrades

A survey from CI sister publication Campus Safety shows that one in two campus protection professionals say their institutions plan on or are considering deploying new/upgraded emergency alert solutions in the next year.

Webcast: Unscrambling Your AVB, HDBaseT Questions
White Paper: Technology Brief on Control Rooms
White Paper: The Voice: How to Design Emergency Communication Systems with Announcements
White Paper: Digital Signs of the Times
White Paper: A Snapshot of the Onsite Freelance & Contractor Workforce
Webcast: 7 Ways an Integrator Can Save Clients Money on Utility Costs
White Paper: 3 Dazzling LED Panel Implementations
View more papers or webcasts



Recent comments

I am a co-leader for my local ACE Mentor Program here in central Florida.  It is a very rewarding program…

Posted by Jim Landis on 2014 10 24 · commented on
'Tales of the Mentors Who Made Us Who We Are'.

This set really looks amazing, display walls everywhere!

Posted by Chanan Averbuch on 2014 10 23 · commented on
'ESPN Makes Digital Splash with Eye-Popping SportsCenter Upgrade'.

This device is just awesome. It expands line that includes access control and CCTV camera solutions to offer…

Posted by Nishad Hasan on 2014 10 20 · commented on
'Seco-Larm Launches HDMI Product Line'.

Thanks for your comment, Alan. I understand and appreciate your frustration about the pictures and belief…

Posted by D. Craig MacCormack on 2014 10 14 · commented on
'Inside Look: Long Island Railroad's Hiperwall Command Center Unveiled'.