Happy Spring from Scott

Happy almost end of Covid (we hope)! Welcome inflation, $5 diesel and $4.+ gas, continued delays in the supply chain, and $12 2x4’s that used to cost 3 bucks!!!!

Oh yes, and the conflict in Ukraine, which is just one more thing to cause the stock market to get twisted into a pretzel. The only thing about all this that may be less of a negative is that we are all experiencing it together.

These things and continued difficulty in finding good reliable help who actually shows up for work, rising costs in raw materials, and good luck trying to buy a house if you are in the market, just add more fuel to an already blazing fire.

There is the opposite side of that equation which is there are plenty of jobs for those who want them, it is spring that is soon to be followed by summer and warmer weather, the majority of the ills that are bothering us right now will one day be in the rearview mirror and we will not remember much about a lot of it.

Despite the fact that there seems to be a brief resurgence in Covid, stores and restaurants are full again, air travel is returning to normal and there are actually places to go and people are starting to complain about traffic–on the same roads that were empty two years ago. There is a lot to be thankful or at least pleased about compared to March two years ago and the following 18 to 24 months.

There is some talk of an impending recession, but the right indicators seem to say, “no time soon” and if we are lucky, not for some time and that is good for business. The majority of the “complaints” we hear from all of our Trust Members are good complaints—if there is such a thing.

They say we have more orders than we can fill, and we have a bigger backlog than ever. Some of our lumber yards are selling truckloads of building materials for 30% more than they quoted 30 days ago, and customers can’t buy them fast enough. A large machine shop normally has a backlog of 41.3 million and that has swollen to $1.7 million. Many of our customers are reporting that last year was their best year ever in business and this year looks like it will be better still.

I think the thing we all have in common is the longstanding tradition of “Yankees” that know how to work hard and, more importantly, persevere and it will get better. Good luck at persevering and look forward to all of the current challenges being replaced by a whole new set of challenges and we will learn to work our way through those too!

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