Let common sense rulePublished 22/2 at 14:52
Nowadays, it is easy to get confused when listening to the news on TV concerning market fluctuations. A couple of days before writing this column, the world’s stock markets fell dramatically, dropping to their lowest levels since September 2016, falling between 4 and 7%. I have written about these fluctuations many times previously, and believe that people paid too much heed to these occurrences.
Some market analysts state that the US construction market is declining after years of growth. Others say the opposite. And in Europe, the construction market is now declining, forcing large construction companies to dismiss thousands of employees. While others say that many countries in Europe are reporting strong increases in demand. Sweden for instance, and the whole Nordic region, is doing very well even if there are signs of decline. So who should we believe?
For me, in my position as an editor, I often feel like turning off the TV, radio and social media. There are so many people having diverse opinions that I feel they are often as not just guessing. Market trends and economic changes around the world are so extremely hard to predict that ‘experts’ and global analysts would benefit everybody by keeping their mouths shut, which would result in less turbulence and produce a more stable market.
Today, when news travels so extremely fast, a false or incorrect comment from some of the world’s leaders or ‘experts’ just cause a lot of headaches and extra work for everyone. I get the feeling that many don’t even know what they are talking about. My scepticism comes with the age; I don’t believe everything I am told to the same extent as I did when I was younger, with a major benefit of aging being you rely on your own experiences and knowledge and are not taken in by the constant ‘soundbites’ we are all subjected to.
I am of an age that I remember the world long before internet, and when news reporting was simpler, and more straightforward than it is today. Then the ‘news filter’ was even tighter, and often types of news were missed, particularly in the 1960’s and 1970’s in a social democratic country like Sweden.
Generally these were not better times, and I am sure a lot of mistakes were made back then, but during that time, let’s says in the 1980’s, news and business cycles were much longer. People were not obsessed by short term trends and let common sense rule to a far bigger extent. For manufacturers or contractors, it was easier to plan for the long term. Today the economic cycles makes the business jump up and down, with this largely having a negative effect particularly on larger companies.
Or should we say, ‘nothing changes, everything is new’? In order to stay on top of things you always need to be innovative, which is change of course, but we constantly require ‘new’. This is of course fundamentally good, but is not required all the time, as in my view it creates confusion. All in all I feel we should let common sense rule a little bit more often.
Ok, now let’s talk about what is in this issue of PDi. The World of Concrete show in Las Vegas took place in January, and PDi was there. I found it to be a great show, and the biggest ever. In Europe, there is only one major international show this year, Intermat in Paris. We have had a lot of exhibitor news, and you can find a number of releases concerning new products in this issue, but PDi issue 2 will be the dedicated show issue.
There are also several special features in this issue. These include hand held equipment, concrete core drilling equipment, GPR equipment and new concrete crushing buckets. There are also many interesting site reports, new releases and company profiles. I hope you enjoy the issue and the New Year with PDi Magazine.