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Are Things Getting Better?

We, all of us, talk about the recession quite a bit. It serves as a centerpiece to both conversation and, in many cases, strategy. We accept that our businesses must recognize this ‘post-recession’ reality. But how accurate is that general discourse? Are we ‘post-recession’? Are we still in it, or are we in it again? Could we be staring down the barrel of something bigger?

It’s not a pleasant consideration – we’d all like to believe that we’re out of the woods; that our austerity and general belt tightening will soon be eased. In this ‘post-recession’ perception, we start to spend a little less wisely perhaps. But taking a step back, looking at our very global economy, shows us that relaxation might not be the best bet quite yet.

Take this, for example, from the Telegraph:

“The figures also revealed the toll the double-dip has taken on families. Household disposable income has fallen by 1.8pc in the six months of the recession, split evenly between the first quarter of this year and the final three months of 2011 – causing consumer spending to drop 0.1pc in the quarter.

Weak household finances are chipping away at growth elsewhere in the economy. Spending has now fallen in four of the last five quarters and a new Bank of England report suggests there is little prospect of relief. Mortgage borrowing costs are due to rise “significantly”, the Bank said, keeping up the pressure on households.”

Or this, from the Associated Press:

“The U.S. economy is growing too slowly to pull the job market out of a slump, according to the latest data that suggest June will be another weak month for hiring.

Applications for unemployment benefits stayed above a level last week that is generally considered too high to lower the unemployment rate. And the annual growth rate for the January-March quarter was unchanged at a tepid 1.9 percent.

The two government reports released Thursday added to the picture of an economy that is faltering for the third straight year after a promising start. Job growth has tumbled, consumers are less confident, and Europe’s financial crisis has dampened demand for U.S. exports.”

Or this, from the Economic Times:

“The symptoms of Indian economy being in poor health are building fast with growth rate slipping to a nine-year low of 6.5 per cent in 2011-12, current account deficit touching a high of 4 per cent and inflation at a high of 7.55 per cent in May.

[The] Rupee has plunged sharply in recent weeks especially on account of foreign fund outflows and gloomy investor sentiments. It has lost over 20 per cent against the US dollar over the past few months,” Ipsos India MD Mick Gordon said.

Infrastructure problems, shortage of skilled labour, government expenditure on inefficient subsidies and a proposal for punitive retrospective taxation on foreign companies, among others, have added to already slowing growth, he added.”

We must still take care. We must look for the best options to live our lives within our means, to ensure that we get more for less. Businesses must continue to keep a keen eye on sustainably maximizing their profit margins. Individuals must keep an eye out for opportunities to earn more and spend less. All these are good ideas in good times – they’re necessities in others. At Global Coupon, we’re conscious of global economic realities, and we are on track to offer the platform and tools necessary to enable consumers, businesses, and affiliates the means to navigate through challenging economies, while driving revenue and benefit for all.

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