I am not sure that anyone really has a handle on where the economy is headed in 2011 and 2012. If you listen to cable news, you get one story. If you follow the leading indicators, you get a different story.
Let's keep in mind that a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative growth. So far, and I have not seen the Q2 number but I don't think that we have even had one negative quarter in a row yet. The early estimate for Q2 is continued slow growth.
If you talk to manufactures of components, things are still going strong. One of their frequent comments is, however, "I' not sure why." And, I am not sure either but I have some ideas about it. To me, the industrial side of the recovery seems like a normal upturn without job creation. The overall picture is skewed by really slow housing starts, and that is another whole story.
Industrial production is still solid with a Manufacturing Index over 51 for September. This coincides with what manufacturers are telling me. In fact, some are having record years.
I say, let's enjoy the ride and keep making very careful business decisions and continue to manage the recovery with caution and intelligence. That way, when things change, we will at least be prepared. Maybe cut back on cable news?