Sometimes, you have to wonder if politicians and business people are purposely slow to recognize the onset of a recession and quick to point out when things are improving only because prosperity is in their own best interests on both ends of an economic downturn when the days of wine and roses are actually a delusion.
Lately, we’ve been hearing a lot about the “economic green chutes” that are sprouting out of the barren landscape left by the Canadian recession of the past year. The “green chutes” term boils down to buzz words used to paint a positive, if unrealistic, picture of an economy that is becoming productive again.
Having said that, I go along with many of the economists and business types who believe we have reached the bottom of the latest economic downturn and that things are starting to turn around. What many forget to point out, however, is that we fell into a deep crater and now face a long, patient climb out of it.
So, in one sense, the news is positive, which is something desirable for people tired of the negativity that went on when this recession went down in Canada nearly a year ago.
On the other hand, many businesses and individuals are cautious, perhaps unwilling or unable to stimulate the economy through spending, at least not the way the federal government, which has built its own massive deficit through economic stimulus spending, would like.
As they try to limit the damage to their bottom lines, perhaps the best that can be expected is that businesses and individuals start spending a little more selectively, but to say that there is still caution out there is not negative, but realistic.
According to the latest GNN Poll, now up on the home page, the same holds true in golf, which has the added wild card of inclement weather in many parts of the country this year.
The poll asked readers if they plan to spend more, less or the same on golf shop inventory next year than in 2009. The results, as of yesterday, are not pleasant for a golf industry already reeling from the events of the last year.
An overwhelming majority of respondents said it’s status quo at best with their spending for 2010, with 73 per cent saying they would spend less for 2010 and 18 per cent saying their buy would be about the same as this year. Only nine per cent said they would buy more, as of yesterday.
The recent economic impact study released by the National Allied Golf Associations illustrated that rounds were down as much as 10 per cent in 2008 and whether that continued or got greater in 2009 is anybody’s guess.
Does that trend keep going in 2010? The numbers indicate that golf shops are feeling the squeeze and, therefore, those who supply them with equipment, apparel and accessories may be even more affected in 2010 than they were this year.
The American economy has been slammed harder than Canada’s for a longer period of time and you have to wonder if one of the effects of limited spending is more consolidation among well-known companies.
Competition in the marketplace looks to be more intense than ever and it will be interesting to see what strategies are in place for 2010. Does a company pull back on its marketing budget or get more aggressive trying to get into people’s faces?
We’ll leave the current GNN Poll up for the weekend, so drop by for a visit and cast your vote.