The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2012 - (Page 30)

ECONOMIC OUTLOOK FORECAST Continued Growth Expected In 2012 BY ALAN BEAULIEU F or many in the material handling industry, the economic doldrums of the Great Recession have given way to tentative growth and improvement. 2011 was a year of growth for the U.S. economy and, more specifically, for the material handling industry. According to the first quarter 2012 issue of The MHEDA Journal, distributors are optimistic that this growth will continue into 2012. Those distributors will be happy to know that the Institute for Trend Research shares that optimism and forecasts continued growth this year. One of the main pistons in the economic engine is business-to-business spending. In the past 18 months, we have seen B-to-B activity rise above prerecession highs. There is good spending going on out there and MHEDA members are positioned to take advantage of it. Businesses continue to spend substantial money on gaining in efficiencies, processes and automation. These are vital, as they help companies become more productive, even during lean times. Since the recession, companies are doing everything that they can to put themselves in a strong position should the economy double-dip. The media has called this a “jobless recovery.” While this isn’t strictly true, especially in the private sector, it does reflect companies paying special attention to efficiencies and automation, allowing them to do more with less. Because of this, MHEDA members should have seen an uptick in business in 2010 and 2011. If they didn’t, they may need to reevaluate their business plan. They may be selling into the wrong niches or selling the wrong products. Consumer spending will also help fuel economic expansion in 2012. Retail sales have picked up as consumers have begun to believe that the recovery is here to stay. We have also seen the wholesale trade market gathering strength, which indicates that business owners see sustainability in the positive economic trends. Through November 2011, durable goods wholesale trade is up 12.3 percent year-overyear and nondurable goods trade is up 30 MHEDA | 15.9 percent. The data for the material handling industry is even more encouraging. The machinery, equipment and supplies segment is up a staggering 19.7 percent year-overyear. According to leading indicators and our analysis of the rate-of-change and data trend probabilities, these segments will continue to grow in 2012. There is good industrial activity going on in the United States right now. We have seen manufacturing get stronger. Those things provide business, especially to the material handling industry. And it’s very broad. The energy sector and agriculture, among many others, will continue to provide good business. Of course, as the players in the industry vary, there is no longer a canary in the mine. Years ago, material handling was reliant on the automotive industry. However, in the wake of the Japan tsunami last year, the automotive market tanked. But other sectors provided enough business to keep material handling moving forward. And now, we are seeing the automotive industry gaining strength, which will only help MHEDA dealers. All boats are rising and it is very encouraging. The third and fourth legs of the economy, exports and government spending, also indicate growth in 2012. The ongoing financial crisis in Europe provides some pause, though it should not be enough to derail the U.S. economy. Moreover, Asia is still doing well and exports to the Far East should continue to be favorable. And if there is one thing our government does well, it is spend money. While there will be a

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2012

President's Perspective
From the Desk of Liz Richards
Ask Your Board
Meet The MBOA
Mackinnon Equipment & Services
Member Profile
Bode Equipment Company's Office Supervisor Meredith Fowler is a jack of all trades
Customer Service Automation
Continued Growth Expected in 2012
The Off-Season
Convention Program - Re-Imagine Your Business
Convention Program
Exhibitor's Showcase Guide
Out of the Classroom, Into the Shop
The Link between Sales and Absorption: To sell more, service more!
Social Media and the C-Level: Objections Discussed
Sucession Planning and the Emerging Generations: Five Trends You Need to Know
Sucession Planning
Sucession Planning and the Emerging Generations: Five Trends You Need to Know
Work-Life Balance: It's All Up To You !
Controlling Your Workers Compensation Costs
Transactional vs. Consultative Selling
The Traits of Great Salespeople
Who's to Say What Is Sexy
Spotlight on MHEDA News
MHEDA University Calendar
New Members
MHEDA Milestones
New Products
Index of Advertisers by Product Category

The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2012