The Edge - Q2 2012 - (Page 9)
THE PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE |
by Clive Ensher
Signs of an Improving Economy
Like the Proverbial Glass of Water, Do You Look at a Pool as Half Empty or Half Full?
I THINK THE biggest question on everyone’s mind is simply…is there some light at the end of the tunnel or are we still in an economic morass destined to pull us down deeper into a dark, swirling economic eddy? WHOA! Clive…get a hold of yourself. Wait a minute…I think I have some good news answers for you. Let me start by saying that during and after NESPA’s Atlantic City Pool & Spa Show in January, I talked with many people and I have heard no whining, seen no wringing of hands in despair and heard no woe is me conversations. Everyone has been upbeat and very positive about the coming swimming pool season. I don’t want to disappoint these people, so here are some signs our economy is gradually improving: 1. As of March 13, 2012, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a report stating that February retail sales increased 8.6 percent over last year, marking 20 consecutive months of growth. Pent up demand for delayed purchases has increased sales. 2. The Department of Labor reported on April 6 that the economy added 120,000 jobs in March and that 227,000 new jobs had been added to the economy in February. My wish is that we were doing better on the jobs front, but the economy is moving in the right direction. 3. The unemployment rate has decreased to 8.2 percent, which has been the lowest in recent years. 4. The milder winter has stimulated sales in building material, garden supplies and equipment, and consumers are spending for larger pool repairs. 5. Consumer confidence is improving. The sense of fear and nervousness that people experienced over the past several years is beginning to dissipate. 6. Wall Street is not so shabby either. For awhile, NASDAQ flirted around the 3,000 mark while the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 13,000 for the first time since last spring. Is everything coming up roses? Absolutely not. But compared to the last several years, things are gradually improving and the economy seems to be less vulnerable to shocks than a year ago. Don’t get me wrong, we have some very large demons lurking in the shadows waiting to pounce, like high gas prices, which can
hurt our recovery and trigger a slowdown in consumer spending and a housing market still in turmoil that could cause additional damage. The banks need to further loosen credit to prospective borrowers. And there is still the basic problem of long-term unemployed and helping people find new jobs. I am convinced that our government is not going to pull us out of our economic problems. We cannot wait for change to come to us. As a nation, each and every one of us holds the solutions to a more prosperous economy. For our part, in the swimming pool and spa industry: 1. We have to create better sales techniques and better marketing campaigns to generate more consumer sales. 2. There must be more cooperation with our manufacturers to compete with global markets. 3. We should become more reliant on our trade association, which can support us with valuable training and education. 4. We have to become more technologically savvy. 5. Innovation is the key that will drive our economy forward. I think we are off to a great start this season. The winter winds have abated and I see a brighter light at the end of the economic tunnel. How about you? Do you see your pool half empty or half full? Words to live by: “Economic depression cannot be cured by legislative action or by executive pronouncement. Economic wounds must be healed by the action of the cells of the economic body…the producers and the consumers themselves.” – Herbert Hoover | Clive Ensher is 20112012 president of NESPA, an APSP affiliate.
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Edge - Q2 2012
The President’s Message
Implementation of ADA
Service Gold At Pool World, ‘it’s customer service fi rst to last.’
Add Solar Heating to Your Off erings Th is Season
Adding to Your Sales Presentations With Computer-Aided Design
Index of Advertisers
The Edge - Q2 2012