John was a little nervous to see the latest sales figures, as business had dropped quite significantly since the Australian dollar reached parity with the greenback.
He held his breath as he looked at the screen. But with a sigh of relief, he eased back into his chair and called his manager:
“June, you’re going to like this. It looks like things are finally picking up.”
Pick up is a phrasal verb which means to recover.
When sales or the economy or the market recovers, it means that it gets better again after a downturn.
The housing market has picked up since the Reserve Bank cut interest rates.
If governments continue to cut spending, the economy may not pick up until well into 2014.
Fixed Phrase – ‘Things Are Picking Up’
When you’re talking about a situation that was not so good, but now it’s getting better, you can say:
Things are picking up.
It can used to talk about how you were in a rut, but you sorted out your own personal situation and now things are picking up.
It can be used too to talk about an increase of business activity in the economy or indeed when a company sees a rise in orders or sales.
“Last year was so bad that we almost went under. So I’m just relieved to see things are picking up at long last.”
Of course, you may know the verb pick up as meaning to lift something from the ground:
Sandra picked up the rubbish and put it into the bin.
You can also use it to talk about meeting a guy or girl at a bar and having some success with them (eg getting their number or taking them home):
After sales recovered, John wanted to celebrate and so he went to a bar to pick up a girl.
Describing Recovery – Synonyms
Other verbs are regularly used in the financial press to talk about recovery. In particular, when talking about the dollar or the stock market, rally is used:
I sold my shares in PostMaci Corp just before the market rally ended.
After an eventful day’s trading, the dollar rallied after stronger economic data was released.
You may also see bounce back and rebound:
The price of LinkInEnglish shares fell before bouncing back later in the day.
The market fell 4% before rebounding late in the day.
What’s The Recovery Like?
A recovery in something, like sales or the economy can be strong or weak. Here’s a few words you can use in this way:
To say the recovery is strong and/or long-lasting
- A full | robust | substantial | complete | sustained recovery
To say the recovery is weak and not likely to last
- A limited | weak | slight | modest | short-term | slow | fragile recovery
reach parity = have the same value
greenback = US dollar
a sigh of relief = the way you breathe out slowly because you’re relieved or angry about something
go under = go bankrupt/close down