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Recession? Could We Be Back to More Normal Economic Cycles

I just read an article stating that Economist Lakshman Achuthan, head of the Economic Cycle Research Institute, says that the US Economy has been in a recession since the middle of last year.  He states that this will be a very mild recession and many may not even realize that we’re in a recession.

For me in the Staffing business this sounds like the way things used to be – back before crazy, ridiculous recessions.  Back in the “good old days” our business would see a slowdown in hiring activity (translated: business) prior to, and during a recession.  Then, activity (business) would begin to pick up and just about that time, word of the recession would start in the press.  The numbers always lagged the reality and if activity was increasing when that papers and pundits were saying we were in recession, we knew we were actually coming OUT of recession.

Last year, in fact, we did see a slowdown in activity.  The first and second quarter slowed significantly.  Now, fortunately for us, we’re well diversified and well capitalized so we weathered the storm well.  Things started to even out and increase a bit during the third and fourth quarters, but beginning in January we began to see significant, broad based increases in demand.  Hiring activity is up significantly now, and looks to remain so into the near future.  (By the way, I’ve given up trying to look long term – you know 6-12 months out…)

So, maybe Mr. Achuthan is on to something and maybe, just maybe we could be returning to more classic and predictable economic cycles.  We’ll see….

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