It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine!

I hope this message finds everyone doing well and in good health! The other day I was on my way home from work, the DOW dropped 1,000 + points, and the REM song “It’s the end of the world” came on the radio. I tried to sing along with it, but our dachshund dog, Oscar, gave me a look to shut up.  Megan and I recently moved to a new house just a few short miles away from our old house.  Have I ever told you how much I hate moving??  Two weeks later, we are still unpacking boxes, but the kids have one heck of a box fort in the basement.  I’m not sure how we are going to conquer it.  We will probably send Mister Chuggles in to light it on fire via trojan horse.

Speaking of fire, the world seems to be on fire.  This time last week, FedEx announced a global recession was here.  I’m not an economist, but I think we have been in one for at least a few months now.  The warning talked about how China is still on lockdown, the war in Ukraine, and problems overseas.  Back at home, they mentioned they would shutter about 90 or so FedEx office locations and continue trimming back on Sunday deliveries.  (Sunday should be a day of rest for everyone, even the billionaires!)

This warning is about the end of America’s covid era spending spree.  We have a large Amazon warehouse just two or three miles up the road from our office that has been idle for several months.  More here in metro Atlanta is just sitting vacant, and many more are scattered throughout the US.  Amazon was too aggressive when they went on a building spree a few years ago.

This has been playing out for several months now. We are way off the shipping highs from 2020 and 2021 and have settled back into a normalized growth pattern that we saw before covid.  A FedEx ground business typically sees 10% to 15% YoY growth.  Gas prices continue to go downward, easing the pain at the pump.  I have been surprised about how the labor market seems to be improving.  In my unofficial polling of contractors, more quality candidates are starting to apply for positions.  Weekly settlements to contractors have been steady.

The last two years have tested every business in America.  The contractors were not immune to this by any means.  I think the worst of this is behind us now, and I remain optimistic that 2023 will be a great year compared to 2022.  Until next time, take care!