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Well, here we go again. China reports less than stellar sales and pow, down goes the stock market.

But wait, there's hope. Bad weather has resulted in a bounce in oil prices! Up goes the stock market. Thank God for bizarre, crappy weather. Global warming might not be so bad after all!

What does all this mean for us? For one thing, it has created a bit of a "cry wolf" syndrome. We are hearing all about the post recession gains in our economy and even seeing some evidence of it. But overall, we are feeling a bit reserved. Maybe not the time to be spending lavishly. And the gloomy downturn reports that seem to alternate with the rosy picture flashes do not send us immediately into a tailspin. It's all a little bit wacky.

Our customers are feeling the same way. Sales are stronger but people want a deal. We need to be thinking of ways to give our customers that "extra something" without breaking the bank. It is becoming more of a balancing act than ever before.

D.D.

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