Is it over yet?

While there have been some reports that the recession has ended, our full economic recovery is likely to be slow and prolonged, and retailing will be changed forever.
  by Stan Pohmer

2009 was a year for the record books—and not for our positive achievements. Is there relief in sight, and will things be better for you and the industry in 2010? Let’s take a look at what happened in 2009, get out our crystal ball, and see what we’ve learned and what we can look forward to.

the turmoil we faced
The recession of 2008-2009 was unlike anything most of us have ever experienced. And for the first time ever, the crisis was global in scope. In the U.S., the following economic challenges led to financial nightmares for many consumers:

• the bursting of the housing bubble, which has left many homeowners owing more on their mortgages than their houses are valued at

• the stock-market crash, which significantly depleted many people’s net worth

• the collapse of financial institutions, which resulted in the federal government investing major funds to bail them out

• the technical bankruptcy of the auto industry, which spurred more government investment and oversight

• major layoffs in virtually all manufacturing and service sectors

• rising unemployment to more than 10.2 percent (and some say the real unemployment number is as high as 25 percent when you account for those whose unemployment benefits have run out and/or who have given up trying to get a job)

• underemployment leading to lower personal earnings and overall less discretionary spending power

      ... For the rest of the story, look to the January 2010 issue of Florists' Review.

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