The Morning Economic Report | WYPR

The Morning Economic Report

Monday-Friday at 7:33 am

Anirban Basu, Chairman 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. 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.

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. 


Jason Rosenberg/flickr

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. 


Job Creation

Jun 21, 2017
Kathryn Decker/flickr

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
Ionescu Iulian/flickr

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."

Rene Schwietzke/flickr

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. 


Aranami/flickr

The U.S. economy remains the largest in the world and consumer spending supports two-thirds of all activity. You might remember that after the 9/11 attacks, consumers were urged to come to the economy’s rescue by spending more aggressively. And as pointed out by a recent Barron’s article, these ought to be boom times for U.S.consumers. 


Karine Clessia/flickr

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.

Tom Blackwell/flickr

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
elycefeliz/flickr

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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