Looking Up – Quavering About the Recovery

J.Walker Smith
Yankelovich MONITOR®

We are now “officially,” so to speak, in a stage of the economic downturn where many experts and most consumers are beginning to second-guess the green shoots. This was the topic of our April 14 Looking Up. As discussed in that issue, the latter stages of economic downturns typically see some kind of retrenchment before a vigorous recovery takes hold. This is what we are seeing now.

One clue that this second-guessing is “officially” under way is today's headline on the front page of the business section of The New York Times: “Investors Retreat on Fear of Slow, Late Recovery.” This story was about the 187-point drop in the Dow yesterday that, after a promising couple of months, sent the Dow back into negative territory year-to-date. It opens with a description of the first half of this year that heralds the kind of recovery-retrenchment that always occurs: