Thursday, March 25, 2021

Why Am I so Optimistic about 2021

Opportunity Knocks

Ebullience! That's a word we haven't heard much in the past year. But I predict that's only the start. You might soon also hear such rare terms as buoyancy, vivacity, and euphoria bandied about. 

Count me in the camp that is exuberant for the opportunity presented to us in 2021 - 2022. I can't wait to work again in a group practicing social nearness sans masks as in the headline picture... though my vision of tomorrow has a nicer desk than the headline picture. Why so cheerful you ask?

I covered some of the information in this post when we announced the opening of the SVB 2021 Direct to Consumer survey. 

Green Shoots
of Positivity

The forward GDP growth forecasts for 2021 come with a six handle from any number of prognosticators with some even higher than seven percent. As the pace of opening quickens, the forecasts continue to rise.

The Conference Board forecasts as a base case that US Real GDP growth will rise to 3.0 percent (annualized rate) in Q1 2021 and 5.5 percent (year-over-year) in 2021. We have to go back to the 1980's to see nominal GDP growth in these predicted ranges. 

The National Restaurant Association publishes this information. It's no surprise that we see the improvement in 2020 off of the miserable conditions in March 2020 when there was in essence a Nationwide lockdown. But the current situation continues to improve in restaurants.

The restaurant industry has been growing over 30% since January with respect to diners according to Open Table. And with vaccination rates improving across the country, the pressure to open closed businesses again has grown in volume. As of now the US has 25.7 percent of the population receiving at least one dose of the vaccine, and 14 percent fully vaccinated. New infection rates are lower, as are positivity and death rates.

And what about the U.S. Savings Rate? Those who were employed and higher on the income scale had no place to spend all their cash during lockdown so it piled up. Lower long-term mortgage rates and a flood of refinances also hasn't hurt the measure, nor has record stock prices. Said plainly - wine consumers have cash burning a hole in their pockets!

The string of good news continues through better internet sales, more travelers moving through airports, declines in new unemployment claims, new capital being poured into the business, acquisition activity picking up, wineries selling out reservations, tick up in sparkling wine sales signaling a celebratory population, trillions of dollars of fiscal spending pushed out late in the Pandemic cycle, and more. 

Ebullience!!! How can it be anything but?

Now you need to go out and figure out how to get your share of what is going to be a really strong summer and the back-half of the year. 

And please don't expect everything will return to what we saw before COVID. We have a changed consumer - one who shops a lot more online, stays at home, and at least for this year, is more likely to travel within a short distance from home. 

The opportunity isn't going to drive to your doorstep with this economic and pandemic recovery.

What's Your Opinion?

  • Are you excited about the year ahead of us?
  • What could derail us?
  • What are you doing to attract new consumers in 2021?
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  1. Rob:

    Let me contribute a citing of this Wall Street Journal (June 21, 2020 ) article to the discussion:

    "Restaurant Reservations, Driving Directions and Other Indicators Wall Street Is Watching"

    Subheadline: "Investors and analysts are tracking a number of unconventional metrics as they try to predict the stock market’s trajectory."


    (Readers of your blog can purchase a 12 week trial subscription to The Journal for the princely sum of 1 buck a week.)

    ~~ Bob

  2. Thanks Bob. There is no question the view of what's ahead has been made more difficult by upsetting the data sources we've all become used to.