Beware the double-dip recession

Whisper it softly but the dreaded term "double dip" has returned to the agenda of senior PR and communications professionals.

Whisper it softly but the dreaded term "double dip" has returned to the agenda of senior PR and communications professionals.

The PR industry and the wider economy have enjoyed a recovery in recent months that has come as a welcome boost to everyone after a long period in recession.

But concerns that we are not completely out of the downturn yet and that there is still the possibility of a double-dip recession have returned, literally in the last three to four weeks.

Clients have suddenly pulled in their horns and gone cautious again, prompted principally by the economic and currency crises in Europe and the subsequent volatility in financial markets.

Labor Department figures released this morning compound the feeling, with a net drop in new jobs in the private sector compared to growth in population. Retail sales are also down.

We must be careful not to talk ourselves into a double dip, an accusation leveled at the media at the start of the latest recession. But there's no point in ignoring harsh realities either.

So while agencies will continue on their hiring sprees after a long period of stasis, they will no doubt also bear in mind that the wider economy and, by extension, the world of communications still have some way to go before we can genuinely be confident that the recession is over.

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