Based on his view of business activity, UPS CEO Scott Davis believes improving industrial production and global activity will lift the U.S. into recovery.
"It feels like the economy clearly has bottomed out,” Davis told CNBC.
“Long-term, we're positioned very well, industrial production will improve... we've managed through 20 recessions and a depression... this one was been challenging... but I think UPS is all about global trade and I believe global trade will lead us out of this recession."
“The holiday season, which kind of makes or breaks our fourth quarter, is still a question mark,” Davis acknowledges.
"It used to be that the holiday season was probably Thanksgiving to Christmas,” he notes.
“Today it's probably down to eight or nine days. People are waiting longer to do their shopping and more is done on the Internet.”
“I think the discounters are looking for a good Christmas season and the high-end retailers see more challenges out there.”
The National Retail federation forecasts that the 2009 holiday season will see holiday retail sales decline by one percent over last year, to $437.6 billion.
This data is based on expectations for the full months of November and December, a total of 55 shopping days.
Some observers believe that Black Friday and Cyber Monday — the day after Thanksgiving and the following Monday, respectively — are the best indicators of prosperity generated by the holiday season.
Yet the report says the last Saturday before Christmas often takes top honors as the best day for retailers, while Thanksgiving Day has higher-than-average online sales.
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