What Will The New Year Bring?

iStock_000013583990XSmallWe are 2+ years into an awful economy. We have the financial community to thank for the mess they created and we have ourselves to blame for overspending our means. No need to rehash the awfulness of the fall of 2008 that created this current malaise. 

We do know that unemployment is still outrageously high at 9+% and holding. People who have no job (or are fearful of losing theirs) are obviously not fueling the recovery with spending. Many business sectors are still devastated. Real estate values are still low, however those fortunate enough to have credit, interest rates are at all time lows. It’s actually a good time to be a buyer.

As we all know, the Bush tax cuts are being extended for all brackets and other tax and spending goodies are on their way with the hoped for effects of helping jump start the economy in 2011. While it is inevitable that the economic piper will need to be paid for the current spending, it won’t be right now.

My 2 cents however is in fact that better times are ahead in 2011. We still may be drifitng sideways, but I don’t see a further economic deterioration. In fact I think there is a light at the end of the economic tunnel. Employment is inching up, and the stock market has been strong again at roughly 10% annual gain this past year. Good progress, but and thankfully not “stupid” good. Confidence is beginning to be restored.

Closer to my business, the marketing industry is also cautiously hopeful. While the era of “image building” absent ROI is over, there is a deeper appreciation that smart marketing is part of the solution, not the problem. I also think that the consumers have become more educated and are beginning to spend a little more aggressively, albeit with more intelligence. Old fashioned coupons are still popular, and online promotions and shopping apps on fast growing smart phones put the power of information (and value) into the hands of the consumer. We can except this to continue and grow.

As we enter 2011 a few milestones are straight ahead:

1. The oldest boomers will turn 65

2. The 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s inauguration

3. 50th anniversary of Roger Maris’ 61 home run season. Perhaps we should reinstall the asterisk along with the recognition that 61 home runs is still the legitimate single season record.

As we enter 2011, I hope that the New York Yankees will again be Champions. They are not merely the greatest sports franchise of all time; they are American history to be appreciated. It seems appropriate to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Maris’ record season (and a Yankees World Championship over the Reds in 1961) with Jeter’s 3000th hit and another Yankees World Championship. #28 in 2011.

How do you think 2011 will play out?

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