By Pete Julius

The events of September 11th produced a dense black cloud over the economy.  No one had any idea what the economy was going to do.  Only the days ahead would tell.  As the days passed by, consumer spending began to rise steadily and there was a developing trend of returning to normalcy.  That was until Enron caused a huge ruckus in the stock market and sent shock waves through the business environment with their despicable actions.  Despite the events of September 11th and the Enron debacle the economy is showing signs of improvements.

For being in a recession, there have been a number of events that indicate that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that the recession will be short lived.  The Federal Reserve Board reached a dramatic decision to cease their interest rates reductions campaign.  Consumer spending has been at an unbelievable level during this economic downturn.  Catching many people by surprise, jobless claims are beginning to climb.  There is also a growth in worker productivity and low inventories that will need rebuilding.  All of these events point to a healing economy.

The emerging sectors within the economy include: defense related industries-which is pretty much a no brainer, pharmaceuticals-especially if they start to gobble up biotech firms, food related businesses-which is a necessity, convenience related goods and specialized hi-tech industries that focus on security related products.  A very important trend to watch is decentralization.  If businesses such as financial, insurance and other back office operations begin to sprawl, there will be potential for growth in smaller metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas.  These growing areas will add to the brightness of the light at the end of the tunnel.