The signs from the economy seem to be a bit of a mixed bag. Though in July, a respectable 164,000 jobs were added and unemployment remains incredibly low at 3.8%, there are other indicators that seem to signal a slowdown. The second-quarter GDP grew 2.1%, down from the 3.1% first-quarter results which were enough to get the Federal Reserve to act with rate cuts, something that they have not done in 10 years. The economy in Europe has experienced slow growth over the last year, with Germany’s economy growing less than 1% and Great Britain’s less than 2%. Pressure is mounting for the European Central bank to continue the period of low-interest rates. There seems to be a view that the trade tensions are the primary reason for these recent indicators of a slowdown. Also there is a sense that this recovery, which started in June of 2009, is longer than any other and therefore due for a slowdown.
Though remaining attuned to the national and world economy is important for anyone in managing their organization, I find that I get the best pulse of the economy by talking to clients and others in the business community. In these discussions, most seem to be plowing ahead with their plans. Though they are aware of all of the noise around them, they seem to be not too distracted from their focus of growing and investing for the future. We are very proud to work with the entrepreneurs and business owners for they are the economic engine of this country. So, as they continue to plow ahead, we will do the same.