Mood Sours

By Andrew Paparozzi
In June 27, 2008

The government, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) to be exact, reported another slight upward revision to first-quarter GDP. The latest results show an annualized gain of 1.0% for the period, which follows an increase of 0.6% in the previous quarter. When tallied, the current quarter also is expected to record a gain of about 1.0%. The latest data on personal income and consumption show that consumer spending is just beginning to get a boost from the tax rebates, rising 0.4% in May—the fastest monthly gain since August 2007. A word of caution on the economic data: July is the month when the economic landscape gets revised for the previous three years, and sometimes the revisions are substantial. That being said, we may still skirt recession. Why the increasingly sour mood?

Any glimmers of hope in the data are being totally overshadowed by daily frustrations of adjusting to sharply higher gas and food prices. Various added fees and surcharges aren’t helping. Throw in 500-year floods, wildfires, plunging stocks, and its little wonder that consumer confidence is dropping like a stone. Confidence among business executives isn’t that great either, definitely not among printers. Recent data from the NAPL Printing Business Panel show confidence at its lowest level since October 2001—the survey just after 9/11.

As we look forward to celebrating our nation’s independence, keep in mind that there are no quick fixes. Independence didn’t happen overnight and neither will the economic turnaround. Nonetheless, adjustments are being made. Adjustments in the autos we’re buying, the traveling we’re doing, and the homes we’re purchasing. In time, conditions for solid economic growth will be in place. That is the nature of a market economy. It is also the nature of a market economy that with rewards, there are going to be setbacks. We can’t pinpoint when the economic turnaround will take hold, but from all indications, the overall economy is not collapsing.

Joseph Vincenzino

Andrew Paparozzi

Epicomm's Andrew Paparozzi, Vice President/Chief Economist, is well-known for his accurate and thoughtful discussions on the economy and US commercial printing industry. A foremost author and speaker on economic business trends in the printing industry, Paparozzi heads Epicomm's Printing Economic Research Center.

Leave A Comment