The U.S. economy has taken a round trip. Though it may not feel like it for those who are out of work or facing foreclosure, the numbers show we have an even larger economy today than we had almost five years ago, at the time our economy initially hit the decline. And certain tell-tale signs suggest that this economic rebound will continue.
In capitalism, there is always a cyclical move toward excess (where the pendulum swings too far into optimism) — followed by a contraction into fear and inaction (where the pendulum swings back into pessimism.)
After years of economic decline, we’re getting back to some equilibrium. One place that’s evident is with shopping centers. Over the past five years, we’ve gotten used to seeing half-empty shopping centers. We built far more retail space than we needed during the boom years of the last decade. When the music stopped, the vacancies exploded.
But now, occupancy of retail space is on the rise. We’re not yet at the point where we’ll be seeing new retail construction any time soon, but the decrease in vacancies is an essential part of the economic healing process.
One of the sectors that took it the hardest was the restaurant business. Long-time successful restaurants were shuttering their doors right and left. But now, we’re seeing new restaurants all over. And restaurant owners are seeing the strongest sales returns in years. It’s another step in the process of healing.
Clark knows he’s an optimist, even during times when it doesn’t seem warranted. But there are so many positive indications that we’re self-correcting, in spite of the lack of coherent policy, and the dysfunctional two-party sytem in Washington. It’s the American people making this happen.