This recession won't last forever. One of these days, maybe in a month or two, or a year or two, our economy will start getting its gusto back. When that happens, many companies will start seeing more business coming their way. And that will translate, ultimately, into more profits for them and their shareholders.

You can position yourself to profit from this recovery by thinking about which companies stand to benefit from a change in the economy's direction:

  • As the housing market recovers and people start buying, selling, and building homes in greater numbers, companies like Lowe's (NYSE:LOW) that specialize in building and renovation will be poised to profit. Non-residential building will benefit many companies, too, such as Vulcan Materials and Cemex (NYSE:CX).
  • As more people become employed again, and start breathing easier, the travel industry will likely pick up. As long as higher fuel prices don't push travel costs upward, look for companies such as Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) and Marriott to benefit.
  • The retail industry is likely to see business quicken as consumers finally make some of the purchases they're currently postponing, such as large-screen TVs, and simply shop with more abandon. Not only will stores like Macy's and Target likely benefit, but increased transaction volume should help credit-card networks MasterCard (NYSE:MA) and Visa (NYSE:V) boost revenue.
  • Once some businesses recover, expect to see companies that keep those other businesses running smoothly benefit as well -- companies such as FedEx (NYSE:FDX), Staples, and SYSCO (NYSE:SYY).

If you're beginning to suspect that I could name many more companies, you're right. As these companies bulk up, they'll hire more people, who'll shop more, leading to more jobs and more productivity in other industries. To a great degree, this interconnectedness got us into this mess of a recession, with a vicious circle of job losses and shrinking businesses. It'll also help us emerge from it.

Pay attention to the companies that interest you, in the industries you understand -- and prepare to profit.

Further optimistic Foolishness:

Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian owns shares of Cemex and Home Depot. Cemex, FedEx, and Staples are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. Lowe's, SYSCO, and Vulcan Materials are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. SYSCO is a Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation. The Fool owns shares of Cemex. Try any of our investing newsletters free for 30 days. The Motley Fool is Fools writing for Fools.