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|Articles - September 2011|
|Wednesday, August 24, 2011|
We enter the fall with renewed worry over the economy, losing business optimism locally, nationally and globally. Our readers, who were surveyed in late July for this month’s Input, were asked if they thought things in their region were on the right track or headed in the wrong direction. By a large majority, they said they thought things were headed in the wrong direction, with the gap between the optimists and the pessimists widening since 2008.
At the same time, small-business owners were being surveyed nationally by the National Federation of Independent Business and the results were no less disheartening. According to the NFIB survey, only 10% of small-business owners planned to hire. This is a group that has in the past led the hiring rebound post recession, so if this trend continues, it could signal another recession. “Expectations for growth are low and uncertainty is great,” NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg told Portfolio.com.
A survey of more than 1,500 executives worldwide, taken between June 22 and July 29, showed the corporate world was losing faith in the future early on. Conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, it found that almost 34% of respondents expected business conditions in the global economy to worsen over the next six months. Three months earlier, there were twice as many optimists as pessimists.
All three of these surveys were conducted before the stock market began it debt-ceiling gyrations after weeks of political gridlock, and the subsequent downgrading of U.S. debt by Standard & Poor’s. One can imagine how confidence has further dropped since then.
In 2008 and 2009, the business press was flooded with stories making the case for optimism. It’s late 2011 and they’re back. A recent report titled “Why It’s Smart to be Optimistic” by Bloomberg Businessweek reminds again that when the going gets rough it’s time to open your mind to optimism so you can seize opportunities.
I have to agree. I know it is almost impossible not to pull the covers over your head or run for the hills when the bad news flows. But I agree with the Oscar Wilde quip, "The basis of optimism is sheer terror." So take in in the bad news — and try to feel better.
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT
The CRC is a cautionary tale about how we plan for, finance and invest in transportation infrastructure.
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY COURTNEY SHERWOOD | Photos by Jason E. Kaplan
Pacific Seafood, one of the world’s largest processors, is rebranding as a more transparent and consumer-friendly operation. A controversial CEO and monopoly accusations from coastal fishermen complicate the tale.
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
Oregon already ranks as the nation’s second largest generator of hydroelectric power. (Washington is No. 1). Now an elegant new installation in Portland is putting an unconventional, sharing economy twist on this age-old water-energy pairing. The new system, launched this winter, uses the flow of water inside city water pipes to spin four turbines that produce electricity for Portland General Electric customers.
Friday, April 17, 2015
PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
The 32nd annual CBC attracted a record number of attendees (11,000) to the Oregon Convention Center.
Friday, May 08, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
Hagfish may not have evolved much over the last 300 million years, but their protein-heavy slime promises advances in super-materials.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Cycling to work is all the rage. But not everyone wants to arrive at the office messy, sweaty — and unfashionable.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Janet LaBar, Executive director, Greater Portland Inc.
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