A Little Relief?

When I decided on this topic, President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping had evidently reached an agreement in principle to ratchet down the tensions between the US and China and work toward solving trade-related problems. Fears of a full-out trade war (or worse) were abated somewhat as the two sat down at the G-20 meeting and started a dialogue about getting to a deal. […]

The Long-Term Forecast for the United States Economy

The US economy is well positioned for long-term growth. Future prosperity will depend on the ability of individuals, businesses, and communities to adapt to change, which is likely to occur at an accelerating pace. Let’s take a brief look at our expectations for long-term US economic performance and some of the driving factors. Technology is dramatically shifting the way business is conducted, and the more […]

The Yield Curve

The “yield curve” has recently been receiving some attention because it can be a harbinger of economic downturns and has long been analyzed as a tool for predicting recessions. However, I don’t currently see it as a major cause for concern. Here’s why. Also called the “term spread,” the yield curve is the difference between short-term interest rates and long-term interest rates (such as between […]

Amazon

After about 14 months of analysis, Amazon made a decision on its second corporate headquarters (HQ2), and it isn’t Texas. Many lists of likely locations put Texas at or near the top, but at the end of the day, Amazon chose Crystal City in Northern Virginia and Long Island, New York for HQ2, with each area gaining about 25,000 jobs. Another, smaller location in Nashville […]

Wages

Wages and salaries are finally beginning to rise in a meaningful way. The rate of growth is at levels not seen in about a decade, when the effects of the Great Recession began to ripple through the economy. For the year ended in September, total compensation costs (wages and salaries plus benefits) for private industry workers rose 2.9%, significantly faster than the pace from the […]

Let’s Make a Deal

Recent rhetoric and threats have added additional fuel to the already simmering trade war between the United States and China. Stock markets and business leaders around the globe respond immediately and significantly to the ebb and flow of the situation, and we can expect ongoing volatility until it is resolved. As I am writing, some hope of a truce has markets surging; by the time […]

Help Wanted!!

There are more job openings in the United States than there have ever been before: more than seven million of them. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has been tracking job openings since December 2000, and the number has never been as high as it was at the end of August (the most recent reading) at more than 7.1 million. As of September, there were […]

Most Competitive

For the first time since the onset of the Great Recession, the United States has topped the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness rankings. The US scored 85.6 of a possible 100, followed by Singapore (83.5), Germany (82.8), Switzerland (82.6), Japan (82.5), Netherlands (82.4), Hong Kong SAR (82.3), the United Kingdom (82.0), Sweden (81.7) and Denmark (80.6). The World Economic Forum is a nonprofit foundation formed in […]

Thinking Beyond Tomorrow

One of the most challenging aspects of economics is trying to predict, and perhaps modify, future performance. It’s particularly difficult when looking out over several decades, but having some idea of future patterns is essential to planning for individuals, businesses, and government entities. This year, two Americans have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics (or, more formally, “The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences […]

USMCA

The US, Mexico, and Canada finally hammered out a trade deal, which is excellent news for the economies of all three nations. The new agreement, which still must be finalized and agreed upon by Congress, is known as the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). It replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which had been in place for about 25 years. Canada and Mexico are crucial […]