Anirban Basu | WYPR

Anirban Basu

Host, Morning Economic Report

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants.  Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate.  Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes.  Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.

He is the author of numerous regional publications including the Mid-Atlantic Economic Quarterly and Outlook Maryland and is routinely asked to contribute to local media, including on his radio show on WTMD, 89.7 FM/Baltimore and here on WYPR's Morning Economic Forecast.  Anirban completed his graduate work in mathematical economics at the University of Maryland.  He earned a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University in 1992. His Bachelors in Foreign Service is from Georgetown University and was earned in 1990.  He is currently working toward his J.D. at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

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Click on the image for the MERs for the week of July 24. 

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Click on the image for the Morning Economic Reports from the week of July 17.

When to Retire

Jul 20, 2017

Deciding when to retire is a question many will face at some point. It is not a simple matter. Many factors are at work. USNews supplies five initial items worth considering as one contemplates making the transition to retired status. The first is obvious – the income analysis. One needs to consider their potential retirement income sources, including Social Security...


Sans Savings

Jul 13, 2017

Over time, the volume of data indicating the inadequacy of savings grows. For instance, according to a recent GoBankingRates survey, 35 percent of all adults in American have only several hundred dollars in their savings account. 34 percent have zero savings and about half of U.S. families have no retirement account savings...

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Click on the image for the Morning Economic Reports from the week of July 10.

Click on the image for the Morning Economic Reports from the week of July 3.

Is there a retirement crisis in America?  One is tempted to simply answer yes.  Our population is aging, Social Security’s trust funds will be depleted by twenty thirty four according to the most recent analysis, and the median households headed by someone aged fifty-five to sixty-four has just a bit more than one hundred thousand dollars in retirement savings.  Despite this, economists and others remain sharply divided with respect to the question of whether or not American is in the midst of a retirement crisis.  

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Click on the image for the Morning Economic Reports from the week of June 30.

Saving for retirement is arguably the most complicated financial endeavor we will undertake.  Not only does saving for retirement implicate theories of portfolio construction, but also our likely lifespans, our tolerance for risk, our shared economic future, and the likely trajectory of our own careers...

Shrinking Homes

Jun 22, 2017

Newly constructed homes shrunk in terms of average size last year for the first time since the end of the recession. According to recently released Census Bureau data, the median size of a new single-family home fell 2 percent to 2,422 square feet in 2016. 

Anirban has more. 


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The lack of college affordability continues to be a growing problem across the nation. According to data from the College Board, the average cost of tuition of an in-state student at a public university was more than $9600 for the 2016/2017 school year, up 2.4 percent for the year.  

Anirban has more. 


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You may have heard people say that as many as half of all households with Americans 55 and older have no retirement savings at all. The source for this statement is none other than the U.S. Government Accountability Office or GAO.  

Anirban has more. 


Job Creation

Jun 21, 2017
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Last month, unemployment sank to just 4.3 percent, its lowest level in 16 years. That sounds like good news, but the unemployment rate largely dipped for the wrong reasons. The nation added 138,000 jobs in May according to the government’s preliminary estimate, but that was a disappointing tally.  


Pollution

Jun 20, 2017
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The global environment has been in the news a lot lately. You may have heard it said that among the world’s greatest polluters are China and India, the world’s two most populous nations and also among its most rapidly growing economically. The International Monetary Fund predicts that China’s economy will expand 6.6 percent this year and that India’s will expand by more than 7 percent.  


Aging Vehicles

Jun 19, 2017

According to an IHS Markit study, the average age of vehicles on American roads is now a record 11.6 years.  There are many reasons for this, including the higher quality of new vehicles. As pointed out by an analyst at Kelley Blue Book, many people are "basically driving around in a rotary phone close."

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Next time you go to the mall, you should probably give it a big hug and wish it luck. A new report from Credit Suisse predicts that between 20 and 25 percent of American malls will close within five years. As reported by CNNMoney, that level of dislocation would be unprecedented in the nation’s history.  

Anirban has more. 


Retirement Savings

Jun 15, 2017
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The data regarding how few Americans are ready for retirement are simply staggering. According to a report from the Economic Policy Institute, nearly half of families have no retirement account savings at all.  The median retirement savings figure among all working age families in the United States is just $5,000.

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Remember when we used phones primarily to make phone calls. Now we text, tweet, Snap, bank, shop, order food and transportation on our devices. We also play a lot of games. For the first time ever, revenue from computer games exceeded $100 billion globally in a single year. The gamer capital of the world is China, which has overtaken the U.S. in terms of market size.

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It is well known that less educated workers tend to make less money than those with more education.  Recent data indicate that that’s hardly where the differences end. The Federal Reserve Bank’s latest Survey of Household Economics and Decision making, a treasure trove of workforce data derived from the survey responses of more than 600 respondents, indicates that less educated workers also suffer irregular, unpredictable work schedules. 

Rising Wages

Jun 12, 2017
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Economists have been debating one of the economy’s central mysteries for months – with unemployment rates so low, why are wages rising barely faster than the pace of inflation.  As workers become more difficult to recruit, the notion is that compensation should be bid higher, but that isn’t happening at the pace one might expect... 

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You may have noticed that the stock market has been on quite a tear recently. However, volatility may be on the way back. Recently, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged by more than 370 points, or by 1.8 percent during a single day due to political turmoil in Washington, D.C. But that was just one day and the stock market quickly recovered.

Anirban has more. 


There was a time after last year’s elections that many experts were predicting a sharp bounce in economic growth in the U.S. As indicated by writer Nelson Schwartz, that sharp bounce is beginning to look more like a small bump. It is not that the economy is necessarily weakening or that a recession is imminent. Rather, it appears that the pace of growth this year won’t be much more than it was last year or the year before that.  

Anirban has more. 


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While there has been a considerable volume of discussion recently regarding the curtailment of immigration in America, recent data indicate that through 2016, the foreign born share of the labor force continued to expand. According to U.S. Labor Department data, last year, there were 27 million foreign born people in the U.S. Labor Force. That translates into nearly 17 percent of the workforce. 

Anirban has more.

Rural Poverty

Jun 7, 2017
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When people consider the presence concentrations of poverty in America, they may envision the conditions frequently associated with inner cities. Indeed, beginning at some point during the 1980s, the nation’s most challenging communities were often found in cities, where a combination of crime and suburban flight rendered large cities less economically vibrant.

Anirban has more. 


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Despite forecasts suggesting that 2017 would be better for the global economy than 2016, economic growth during 2017’s initial quarter in developed economies slowed sharply. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development recently indicated that the combined economic output of its 35 members expanded just 0.4 percent during the first quarter.  

Anirban has more. 


Kathryn Decker/flickr

The job market has steadily improved for college graduates in recent years. Unfortunately, the cities that tend to offer the most employment opportunities for recent graduates are also typically the most expensive. A recently released report from Trulia estimates the share of apartment listings that would take up less than 30 percent of the typical millennial’s paycheck in major U.S. cities. 


elycefeliz/flickr

If you haven’t saved enough for retirement, here’s the good news.  You are not alone.  According to a report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, almost one quarter of workers say that they and their spouse combined have less than one thousand dollars saved for retirement.  

Anirban has more. 


Auto Loan Debt

Jun 1, 2017
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There are a lot of new cars out there, which also means that there are a lot of people who now have a car loan. According to recently released data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a record $107 million Americans have auto loan debt. Much of this debt is of recent origin. In early 2012, only 80 million Americans had car loans. As indicated by CNNMoney, back then, more Americans had home mortgages that auto loans. 


Household Debt

May 31, 2017
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Remember a few years ago when households around the country committed to paying down their debts? The financial crisis hit many households hard, particularly those who had taken on a considerable amount of debt. For a time, household debt was in decline. In late 2008, household debt commenced a decline that would last for 19 consecutive quarters. But debt began to rise again in 2013. 

Anirban has more. 


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During the 2008 financial crisis, the U.S. auto sector was in crisis, with both General Motors and Chrysler requiring federal bailouts to survive bankruptcy. During the years thereafter, the domestic auto sector steadily rebounded and eventually generated record sales and profits.  

Anirban has more. 


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