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Monday, August 17, 2009

Are you too young to remember ‘normal’?

I am getting a bit of a reputation for being a doomster. I am not. I hope I am just being realistic about what is happening with the economy – for that read the US and UK. These countries may have very different health systems, if you believe the babble in the media, but unfortunately they share many of the same economic problems.

This comment from Wal-Mart’s CEO (Mike Duke) makes for scary reading.
"Overall, our customers are more disciplined in their spending -there's a “new normal” now where people are saving more, consuming less, and being more frugal and thoughtful in their purchases."
Some economic indicators are definitely looking on the up (Japan, France and Germany are showing signs of life) but consumers are facing weak wages, default, unemployment and eroding asset values.

With private consumption accounting for roughly 70% of U.S. economic activity, a recovery without the consumer doesn't promise to be much of a recovery at all. Remember the US economy has lost over 6.6 million jobs since the recession began, which is way above the job losses that we are used to seeing to reach a peak of 12% by the second quarter of 2010.

I reckon the past dozen or so years have been anything but normal. Once the economic oscillations have subsided, the resting place we reach will be a far more austere than we have known for a long time. That doesn’t mean there will not be loads of marketing opportunities, but marketers basing their strategies on the good times (i.e. the old normal) returning are in for a long wait. Dick Stroud

1 comment:

Mike from Drop Ship said...

The world economies are slowly returning to normalcy.