2003 To Be More of the Same?

Discussion
Jan 02, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson


By numerous measures, 2002 was an awful year for business.


  • The stock market experienced its third consecutive year of declines.

  • Corporate accounting scandals shook consumer confidence.

  • The ranks of the unemployed grew and benefits for many of the long-term unemployed were beginning to run out.

  • Holiday retail sales increases slowed to a 30-year low.

Understandably, few are sad to see 2002 behind them. Unfortunately, many retail industry analysts believe that 2003 (at least the first half) may not be any kinder to business than was 2002.


Todd Slater, retail analyst, Lazard Freres told the New York Post, “It’s going to be a very challenging environment for retailers.”


Slipping consumer confidence and the prospects of war with Iraq are two factors impeding a meaningful recovery for retailers across many retail formats.


Moderator’s Comment: Will the American economy finally
rebound in 2003?


Color us optimistic. We think 2003 will mark a turning
point but not because of the result of vastly increased consumer spending.


Businesses have been sitting on the sidelines for a number
of years now without making major investments in capital spending.


Market opportunities created by weaker players folding
part or all of their operations, as well as growing access to cheap financing
will make 2003 a year of reinvestment and regeneration for more than is now
thought.


We certainly hope we’re right.
[George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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