Upfront: Reasons for optimism in 2011

By Steve Noe

Happy New Year! I hope that you were able to take some well-deserved time off from work during the holidays to rest and relax, spend some quality time with family and friends, and recharge your “battery” for what hopefully will be a prosperous 2011.

From most everything that I have heard and read, including from those participating in our annual two-part “Industry Forecasts” survey, starting on page 24 in this issue of Outdoor Power Equipment, I’m cautiously optimistic that we are headed for a bounce-back year in the OPE industry.

The “Great Recession,” which began in December 2007, officially ended in June 2009, according to a Sept. 20 announcement by the National Bureau of Economic Research — although many Americans may not be feeling it yet with the national unemployment rate rising to 9.8 percent in November 2010.

With the passage of the tax-cut extension on Dec. 17 and the Republicans taking control of the House of Representatives in Congress this month, I’m confident that both will lead to job creation and economic growth, which should help restore consumer confidence and spending.

After many consumers decided to save money by repairing versus replacing their outdoor power equipment for the past few years, I have a hunch that there will be some pent-up demand to buy new outdoor power equipment this spring. Of course, the overriding factor is Mother Nature. If the weather is favorable, the demand will definitely be there for outdoor power equipment to be sold and serviced.

I could give you more reasons to be optimistic about the OPE industry in 2011. However, I don’t want to steal the thunder away from the five participants who graciously took time out of their busy schedules to share their insights in the first part of our “Industry Forecasts.” I’ll let you read what they had to say and form your own opinions.

If you would like to share your outlook for your business and the OPE industry in 2011, I would greatly appreciate hearing from you. Please drop me an e-mail with your thoughts to snoe@m2media360.com.

I wish you the best of luck for a happy, healthy and profitable 2011!

OPE Editor Steve Noe


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