The only certainty is continued uncertainty when it comes to the outlook for the global economy in 2012. For business aviation at least, it used to be assumed that you had to look only at the state of the world’s major stock markets to assess the market’s prospects. But share price fluctuations tell only a small part of the story these days.
In mid-December the U.S. Congress authorized $662 billion in defense spending for fiscal 2012, trimming $27 billion from President Obama’s request in probably the last budget before deeper, more painful, cuts are required by the Budget Control Act passed in August.
Here we go again. Three years after the bottom dropped out of the economy, and just months after a long, slow and painful climb toward recovery seemed to be producing results, the flooring is starting to feel awfully flimsy again.
My job at this month’s NBAA show in Las Vegas was to present our AINtv webcasts. I’ve been working on AINtv since its launch in 2006 and it really is great fun—in fact, don’t tell my boss, but it’s light relief from the daily grind of churning out articles for AIN’s print and online editions.
Business aviation may still be brimming with righteous indignation over recent attacks by President Barack Obama (in the row over bonus depreciation) and The Wall Street Journal (over the Block Aircraft Registration Request issue), but it now faces bigger and more tangible problems.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in late January announced that the federal deficit is expected to climb to $477 billion this year, up from $375 billion last year. It also estimated that, in the next 10 years, the government will accumulate nearly $2.4 trillion in additional debt.