A recent (February 22) APDF Webinar featured Dr. Barton Smith, University of Houston, Institute for Regional Forecasting. His presentation was entitled: Countdown to Recovery: What’s Been Accomplished; What’s Left to Do.
Thanks to APDF Member Mark VanderKlipp, President, Corbin Design, here are some notes we would like to share with you!
APDF Members can access the full presentation and summary notes at WWW.APDF.ORG under the Members Only Archived Presentations section.
Dr. Smith began his presentation by explaining Recovery VS. Recovered! Is the current pattern of economic activity sustainable? Where will it take us?
Measuring the recovery:
–Old rule: GDP based
–New rule: employment based
–A better rule: growth in real per capita income (firmer footing towards improved economic performance)
Once the stimulus is gone, can the national/global economies stand on their own two feet?
–The original stimulus stipulated spending in FY 2010
–Will continue to have an impact on the U.S. economy until end of FY 2011
Progress has been made:
–Fear of a depression has dissipated
–The tone of the housing market has improved
–The labor market’s monthly losses are down
But, Americans still have unrealistic expectations!
–Lack of job growth, continued debt problems, cause frustrations
–Wall Street acts as though we’re in a typical recovery
–The politicians blame everyone in site (except themselves)
–Initial weekly claims for unemployment remain at recessionary levels
Every recession has a purpose: have we completed the purpose?
–We must complete the transition before we return to prosperity
–From where it was in 2006 (unsustainable) to where it can begin to grow again
–Consumers cannot represent 70% of the economy: less consumption, more private investment, increased savings rate
Recommendations for design firms who have already cut costs to the bone?
–International markets: weak dollar means we can exploit
–Surprisingly resilient Latin American markets
–Recognize that to survive the next few years, you need to take a broader look at what your market is
–The more diversified you are, the better off you are
–Branch off into areas that have not traditionally been your forte
–There is still room for cost savings besides just labor: pursue those with all rigor
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