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Let the Sun Shine In

May 27, 2009  

When hunkering down to face a challenging economic climate, you might become so focused on survival that you don't notice when the storm begins to weaken. In an article at BusinessWeek, Gene Marks explains how to spot true signs of a recovery:

Pay attention to the Consumer Confidence Measure, released by the Conference Board on the last Tuesday of each month. You can also track consumer confidence with less scientific metrics—such as auto sales or the number of pageviews at travel sites like

Watch commodity prices, which will rise with heightened demand for raw materials like steel, copper and oil. "When [the Baltic Dry Index is] moving up," he says, "it means economic activity is increasing."

Use Google Trends to identify a shift in the media narrative. "When the number of times 'Recovery' is mentioned exceeds the number of times the word 'Recession' is mentioned," he notes, "that means the media has now become bored with the 'Recession' and instead wants to talk about the 'Recovery.'"

The Po!nt: This too shall pass. "The recession of 1980-81 was followed by the recovery of 1982," says Marks. "And so the recession of 2008-2009 will be followed by the recovery, too. The only question is when."

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