From the President's Desk

From the President's desk: Ain’t no sunshine when this market’s gone

The news is abuzz with the global economy’s journey back from the precipice after the pandemic. If you peruse any major news outlet, you’ll find coverage of a potential upcoming recession… or upcoming jubilation as financial security improves.

(Allow me to insert this official disclaimer in which I note I’m no economist, but I did OK in Mrs. Bushey’s 11th-grade Econ class.)

Many economists agree that consumer sentiment drives the overall market. To grossly oversimplify, this means when consumers are spending money, everyone feels good, especially the businesses they’re patronizing; however, when consumers are saving instead of spending, everyone feels nervous. What I see nowadays is even more radical: consumer perception is fueling market movement. It used to be that the Federal Reserve was an entity whose actions were followed only by Wall Street professionals and those of us in Mrs. Bushey’s class…. but now major trading indices are actually fluctuating based on news reports about whether or not the Fed is in a meeting!

So what does this mean for business? Volatility is the name of the game heading into 2023. Not only could we witness major economic changes as the result of fiscal policy, we could also witness changes based on imagined fiscal policy. This means things could change at literally any minute. Add to this continued uncertainty about the virus and its impact on supply chains, mix in the drama from a variety of overseas conflicts, and top it all off with a looming record skilled-labor shortage – and you’ve got yourself a recipe for confusion.

Here’s a quick exercise for perspective: consider the recent bad news about the job market (heard of any major layoffs lately?) and good news about retail sales (a record 197 million or so Americans hit the stores over the recent holiday), and compare that to the recent good news about jobs (wage growth and new job adds are both up) and bad news about retail sales (American credit card debt just took the biggest jump in the last 20 years). Ready to talk about what that means for your budget next year? 

As part of our work at Connico, we are constantly examining industry and economic trends to try to see over the horizon. From our analysis across market segments and across the country, my gut tells me that we are beyond lucky to be alive (and at work) in an era in which the sun is shining brightly. Businesses have the opportunity RIGHT NOW to break records, lead charges, innovate, and solve problems for clients like never before.

Glancing at aviation’s recent past, we see a cycle (as with everything else in life): after a period of sun, there’s bound to be a period of storms and rain. With the sun out right now, the rain is likely only a few years away. So, get out your straw hat and your sickle - because while the sun is shining, it’s time to make moves – and cut hay! 

Sri Kumar is President and Chief Executive Officer at Connico. He can be reached at