The more we hear, the more we think this whole inventory rebuilding thing that everybody’s been pushing since forever is going to turn out to be one big fiction. We have yet to see any real evidence of an inventory rebuilding cycle that will kick start job (and wage) growth in response to some surge in demand that’s been manufactured by government stimulus.
Yesterday, Daimler’s CEO Dieter Zetsche visited Dow Jones’ midtown offices, and I got to sit in on the meeting. There was talk about Chrysler, of course, and Zetsche let on that they’re thinking about introducing a small car in the US. I got in only one question.
How are your inventories?
“We’ve never been as cleared out as we are now,” he said, in his somewhat familiar German accent. That comports with most of the data we’ve seen, right? Inventories across a range of businesses have been, as he said, cleared out. So, I asked, what are your plans now? (Okay, I got in two questions.)