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Shooting Industry December 2011 Digital Edition - Page 38

Business Year Meeting The Challenges Of 2012! New By Russ Thurman T he firearms industry, in the midst of a busy holiday sales season, is preparing for the new business year. The forecast — in the face of a sour economy and a contentious election year? Companies boldly predict healthy, if not increased, sales. For the nation, however, the forecast for next year: a continued poor economy. Most industries will struggle to recover during 2012. Unemployment will remain high. Housing, a significant economic segment, is at near-historic lows, impacting incomes throughout the construction industry. The European debt crisis also is having a negative impact on business, and that will continue into next year. International factors influence the industry more today than at anytime in modern history. Economists who had predicted a recovery next year are now referring to 2012 as a “transition year” on the way to a recovery for most of the nation’s industries in 2013. For the firearms industry, however, the economy hasn’t had a significant impact. Yes, certain segments have posted lower sales, but overall, the industry has fared remarkably well during 2011, and most company officials do not see that changing for the new business year. Much of this optimism is based on healthy sales during 2011 — including 17 straight months of increased background checks by NICS — and historical trends favoring solid sales during a poor economy. In addition, the possibility of a second term for the Obama administration will likely drive increased sales of some firearms. Yes, there is always some uncertainty in business, especially in a shaky economy. However, most company representatives are avoiding the “cautiously optimistic” position often taken during hard times, and boldly forecasting increased sales in 2012. 38 Read SI DIGITAL •NEWBUSINESSYEARSUPERISSUE2012

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