Are the Headlines Helping?

Christina Lewellen
November 10, 2009

Well, well, well. Could it be that U.S. businesses are coming out of their collective coma? Despite the latest unemployment data, there are some encouraging numbers floating around the headlines. Among my favorites is the report that companies are slowly but surely starting to invest in equipment and software.

(I can think of a few of my buddies in the industry who would breathe a huge sigh of relief if this were indeed the case among window and door manufacturers!)

That good news also comes with reports of housing indexes on the rise and global manufacturing data moving in the right direction.  Sure, the growth numbers are not staggering—only 1 percent in the case of equipment and software purchases—but it's still growth. According to the report, some companies had saved for a rainy day. Others are trying to make their existing workforce more productive and still others are dumping the money into upgrading older systems. This business spending is particularly important to the economy as consumers are still playing close to the vest in terms of parting with their cash.

While I would love to hear your company's story of investing for the future in these categories, my poll question this week is actually a little more touchy-feely. I'm not doing cartwheels, but some recent encouraging headlines have me breathing a little easier. What about you?

Recent business headlines make me feel:
Slightly more confident that we're nearing the end
Not exacly more confident, but not any worse
Significantly more confident
No different. My mindset's still pretty negative.

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Contact Christina Lewellen, senior editor, at

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