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So, it is now official –

the United States is in a recession. The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), which has long been the recognized arbiter of such issues, announced late last November that the U.S. economy peak...


January 1, 2002  


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the United States is in a recession. The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), which has long been the recognized arbiter of such issues, announced late last November that the U.S. economy peaked last March and has been in recession since then. Its declaration of the recession put an end to 10 years of U.S. economic growth, the lengthiest period of economic expansion in that country’s history.

So, what about those of us north of the border? Are we destined to follow suit? And will we get hit as hard?

At press time for this issue, few in Canada were officially using the “R” word, although many were getting pretty close. High-ranking analysts and forecasting units were saying that Canada would likely soon record two consecutive quarters of contraction, the usual requirement for a recession.

Most people late last year were still cautiously labelling “it” a slowdown, a slump, a depression. Yet, whatever we are experiencing in the Canadian economy these days is certainly taking its toll on our businesses and our livelihoods. And the cabling telecom business is taking its fair share of the blows.

But just how bad are things for us? And are they going to get worse? With these questions in mind, we put together this month’s cover story — “Toughing it Out” (p. 14). We set out to take the pulse of the Canadian cabling industry and find out just what people were experiencing and what they could expect in the weeks and months to come.

Opinions of those interviewed for this article were varied and predictions differed in scope. Some seemed to think things in the cabling sector were not as bad as in other related arenas. A few thought Canada would not be as hard hit as the U.S. And most agreed that some big changes to our companies and the ways we do business were on the horizon.

But the overall word from those we spoke to seemed to be this: We are valiantly weathering the storm; the worst of it is almost over; and we can expect better times in the months to come. Their words echo those of the myriad of analysts who are predicting that Canada will undergo a short recession — one that will be milder than the recession in the U.S. and one that will likely end by the middle of 2002. Of course this all hinges on the assumption that there will be no escalation of terrorism and that business and consumer confidence will begin to stabilize.

Let us hope that the analysts are right, and let us hope that our own industry, as a whole, picks up along with the rest of the economy. But, as the experts seemed to agree in “Toughing it Out”, we are resilient bunch and we will get through it — whatever “it” is.


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