Europe is in a near stall and there is talk that the EU could break up. China is slowing down. And last month the U.S. economy barely squeaked out any job growth at all. Economic data is looking less sanguine. So is it time to batten down the hatches?
If you believe in the wisdom of crowds, the answer is: no. Intrade, a marketplace for the exchange of predictions, puts the odds of a U.S. recession in 2012 at just 20 percent. That’s up from a few months ago when it was 12 percent, but still low and well below December when it was 50 percent.
The ECRI Institute, the leading authority on business cycles, is still hinting at recession, but with less enthusiasm than they had last year. The broad data just doesn’t support a recession prediction right now.
The Institute for Supply Management’s Purchasing Manager’s Manufacturing Index is still in expansion mode signifying that the manufacturing economy is growing. Likewise, the Purchasing Manager Non-Manufacturing Index is also in expansion mode. Unemployment claims are choppy, yes, but inching downwards. And although GDP growth is still tepid, it’s widespread—almost every state in the union is now seeing at least some growth.
These are all signs that both buyers of staffing services and their suppliers should be continuing with business as usual. Buyers, don’t play for a recession and look for lower prices on talent. It’s not going to happen. Suppliers of staffing services, do the needful: prepare for continued growth.