Conflicting economic data show either the beginning of an economic recovery or a worsening recession. These CNNMoney.com readers are using their own leading indicators.
Occupation: Owner of in-home day care
Hometown: Crystal, Minn.
I manage the business side of my wife's child care business. Currently, our day care is at capacity for the summer, and we'll have one opening in the fall, for which we have received multiple inquiries. Demand for child care has really picked up over the last three months.
In 2007, however, demand was at one of the worst levels we have ever seen, and this was before any official word about a recession. We received hardly any calls, and even resorted to putting an ad in a local paper to try to find some new customers. 2008 was no picnic, but we made it through thanks to slightly increasing demand for child care services. In 2009, we have noticed a return to normal. My wife again commented yesterday at the number of calls she is getting.
We have observed slow periods in the past 20 years, and periods where demand was unbelievable. We've seen it all. Right now, demand for day care is good, and seems to be on an uptick. I don't know what the reasons are, but it could mean the economy is improving.
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Last updated July 20 2009: 11:13 AM ET