Is the Economy Turning Around?

The messages are mixed and economic reports are more confusing than ever.

It can be really frustrating when you are a person trying to make decisions about household spending and business investment.

The heartbeat of the economy is driven by consumer spending, now accounting for about 70% of GDP, our total economic output in the U.S.

The heartbeat of job creation and employment is driven by small and medium sized businesses as they generate the lion’s share of new jobs in our country.

Both, consumer spending and business investment decisions, rely on economic reporting and consumer confidence data for their decision making processes.

To spend or not to spend. To invest or not to invest.  These are the two big questions of 2012.

So what’s the deal? Are we in a turnaround or not? Is the economy really recovering and how do we really know?

If you base your answer on unemployment and consumer confidence polls then you have to conclude we are in recovery.

Jobless claims are at pre 2008 lows according to this past week’s numbers.

While consumer confidence is also on the rise according to the leading consumer confidence and index surveys produced by The Conference Board, a leading provider of such information.

Do we feel like we are recovering in Maine? I do believe we are. The progress is slow, but it is consistent. Of course overwhelming local, negative sentiment clouds that picture. However, we must look beyond the easy to make complaints, embrace optimism and look to 2012 as a turn around year.

As I reported in my last article, there are straightforward steps we can take as a state which will lead to economic prosperity.

Yes it feels so good to complain and tell of what you know about how bad things are – boy does that ever feel good! It is like the high people get from getting angry. However, it is incredibly self destructive and is the lazy path forward.

Mainers need to rise above the negativity and look at the possibilities in front of us.

I strongly believe 2012 can yield economic gains and steps toward overall prosperity. The question is do you and are you willing to take steps to show it?

At the same time we must be evermore vigilant in our efforts to reduce federal spending and move quickly to a balanced budget. We simply cannot continue to borrow $1.5 Trillion +/- per year for much longer.  Our debt overhang poses our single largest risk to our future prosperity.

So Mainer’s I say we move to believe in our private sector – there is hope. Meanwhile support reduced federal spending as the borrowing must stop.