Vistage economist, Alan Beaulieu, CEO of ITR, issued a simple warning in recent days “It’s been a good year, but there is a change coming,” he said. “Things are going to slow down.”
For those of us who follow ITR, we know the recession Beaulieu expects next year is one that he’s been forecasting for some time. To be clear, he is forecasting a normal cyclical downturn, not a deep recession.
Beaulieu expects the modestly improving economic climate will continue until February, but, he expects the U.S. industrial production index to peak in the second month of 2018. When that happens, look for things to taper off the rest of the year before turning more sharply downward in 2019.
And, here is Beulieu’s most important message, “When the downturn happens, smart company executives will use the slowdown to invest in your business, from equipment to ERP systems, from talent to technology.”
“Leadership is becoming more critical,” Beaulieu said. “Forget the noise. Lead your company with confidence. Don’t hunker down in the slowdown because that’s when it’s time to be aggressive.”
Hard advice to follow when margin and cash tighten. And, if we reflect back, we can all point to examples of leaders who followed Beaulieu’s advice during the great recession. Perhaps at the time, we questioned their wisdom, yet today we can see how they reaped the benefits during the last 10 years of prosperity.