Is the recession finally over? What indicators justify your response? We ask…
Emmanuel Daniel, Holland Drive, Singapore
The recession is not over but we are recovering from it at a steady pace. Coming from the IT Industry we are starting to see a lot of customers getting ready to spend on new projects starting in the new financial year compared to the last year where projects were either canceled or postponed with the exception of maintenance projects. In terms of employment, organizations are recruiting but not as strongly as I hoped they would even if recruitments take place the average pays are not as high as they used to be. People have started to buy houses and housing prices have steadily gone, which is a sign that people have got their confidence back when it comes make large investments which is fueled by the surety that jobs and pays will be stable for the coming year.
Sanjay Srinivasan, Mumbai, India
The recession is over I believe. The uncertainty over whether it is or not is due to the fact that people and the corporate world are cautious at the moment. Take aviation for instance. They do not want to burn their hands again considering what they have gone through in the past year or so. There are no signs of expansions as of now. They will be consolidating for the next six months primarily to cover up their losses. The current scenario is a bit stagnant and lull. It is a no profit-no loss scenario. A herd mentality has taken over. The first guy to take a plunge and break that shackle will be the profitable one.
Varun Jacob, Adelaide, Australia
I think that since the government here (in Australia) has invested a lot of money towards a recovery, 2010 will be the year to look out for. If any more companies are to fail, be it disproportionate returns or any bankruptcies for that matter, then it will be really hard for the state to recover its money back. This may result in consumers curbing on their spending rituals and will look for cheaper imported goods. This spells out to be bad for local companies here – and it applies for basic consumer goods, manufacturing goods and even services like IT. All the big companies here are gearing up for a tough 2010.
Saif Hussain, Dubai, UAE
Yes the recession is over. We are starting to get out of the downturn and many indicators point to the same. We can analyse the scenario through some macro-economic measures. The Central Bank officials have begun talking about unwinding some of the fiscal and monetary steps taken to boost demand. There is still some cautiousness prevalent. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is quite worried about inflation and if we get strong industrial production numbers in the next two months, interest rates could rise in the central bank’s January policy meet. However, sluggish bank lending is tempering some of the optimism.
Sudha Rajagoplan, Chennai, India
There are still instances wherein hiring activity has been deferred indicating we may still not be out of the woods yet. Financial reports of organisations have been found to have doubled their cost saving targets for the next two years. One particular company that I am aware of has seen its revenue dip by 7%, employee base decrease by 1% although its customer base in Rajasthan is larger than that in the UK! In India, an independent research firm reported that the employment outlook for the country remained the same as last year but a few pocket cities like Hyderabad saw a humongous increase in job opportunities and highest attrition rates. Other major cities like Kolkata, Delhi and Pune were not so lucky but didn’t see any downturn as such. It has resulted in more accountability. Sellers have been cautious now.
Irum Khan, Pune, India
The Indian economy was growing by around 5.5-6 per cent albeit it was 4 per cent less than the previous years. But the manner in which people were laid off was questionable. In spite of having alternate ways of tackling with the situation companies went on clearing weeds they always wanted to get rid of. We were reactive and not proactive in the situation. When you need a solution you have it. But nobody cared to look at other options available and reacted hastily to the media headlines.