We are nearing the end of 2011, and most of the people I talk with say "GOOD"! If you had asked me four years ago how long the recession was going to last, I would have responded probably 6 - 18 months. Historically that's been the case, and many of those we didn't even realize a recession was going on until after it was over and the economists told us about it. This one is different, it seems to be the never ending recession. For our industry, 2007 started getting soft, 2008 was terrible, then 2009 improved a tad, and 2010 improved a very little bit more, then 2011 went right back down to equal to or worse than 2008.
The only difference in this recession to the others I've been through is the politics. Politicians and the media have terrified all of us, taken stupid actions with the stimulus and bailouts, and really screwed things up. What is going to happen next? Will things ever improve? How many times have you heard the term "double dip" in the last few years, something I'd never heard before concerning the economy. Well, I believe the recession is over, and we will see slow steady growth until the election unless something disastrous happens, massive terrorist attack kind of thing. After the election I believe it can go either way depending on who prevails. I don't think I need to embellish that thought.
The thing I have the most confidence in is that people still need highly energy efficient vinyl replacement windows for their homes and business. The market has not been scratched and the demand has been building while this slow down scared people into not making the investments in their homes they need to make. Because of that I believe we will see a pretty good 2012, and a very much better 2013 in spite of the rhetoric. I guess even four plus years of recession can't stop an eternal optimist.