Monday, April 21, 2008

Local Businesses Ride The Economic Roller Coaster

Little surprise that Harley-Davidson and Midwest Airlines are both laying off employees.

A contracting economy and rising fuel prices are clobbering companies depend on consumers that are a) flush with cash and b) willing and able to absorb rising gasoline costs.

With a recession here, or coming, motorcycle ownership and airplane travel cab become relatively discretionary relatively quickly.But other businesses are doing well in these parts, especially Badger Meter and Johnson Controls.

Both sell high-tech equipment - - meters, batteries, control systems - - that are in high demand, especially in the so-called green sectors of the economy.

Managing water and saving energy play to these companies' strengths.

The bottom line is that there is green to be found in green, and Milwaukee, a Great Lakes port city with ample water resources, industry and available land and employees could be in a better position than other cities to ride out a recession.

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