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The Morning Economic Report

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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.

Dan Fuccella/flickr

One of the greatest fears of workers is their potential to be replaced by technology. Many of us have already been forced to shift jobs due to automation. As pointed out by writer Binyamin Appelbaum, in 1900, factories and farms employed 60 percent of the nation’s workforce. By 1950, those two sectors employed about 36 percent of the workforce -- by 2014, less than 10 percent of worked in a factory or on a farm.  

Anirban has the rest of this story. 


Economic Growth

Mar 9, 2017
Jon Welsh/flickr

Last year, the U.S. economy expanded 1.6 percent. During last year’s final quarter, the economy expanded at a 1.9 percent annualized rate and growth is actually not expected to pick up significantly during the current quarter. So much of the talk about faster U.S. economic growth is largely speculative. In this context, one could ask the question, just how much faster could the U.S. economy grow?  

Anirban has more on this story. 


Energy Prices

Mar 8, 2017
Tarah6801/flickr

Despite all the drama emerging from Washington, D.C. and other national capitals around the world, the U.S. economy continues to show signs of gathering momentum. As indicated by writer Neil Irwin, some of the factors at work may turn out to be temporary. For instance, energy prices were very low about a year ago, but have since recovered, helping to drive more investment into oil exploration and similarly situated activities. For instance, energy prices were very low about a year ago, but have since recovered, helping to drive more investment into oil exploration and similarly situated activities.

Anirban has more of the story. 

 

Healthcare Spending

Mar 7, 2017
RyanWhiteHealth/flickr

For years, various agencies have been striving to reduce America’s health-related expenditures. Despite those efforts, a recent report from nonpartisan experts at Health and Human Services concludes that healthcare spending will continue to claim an expanding share of national resources for the foreseeable future – and that’s regardless of what the new president and congress do with the Affordable Care Act. 

Anirban has more of the story. 


David J/flickr

If people expect an economy to expand slowly, then that economy is likely to expand slowly. In other words, expectations are likely to become self-fulfilling prophecy. This is the conclusion of a new paper authored by three economists. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the economists, including Olivier Blanchard from the Peterson Institute for International Economics, generate key insights relative to productivity.

Anirban has more of the story. 


amy gizienski/flickr

Let’s face it – living near your parents isn’t altogether fashionable. Often, the people who we consider as among the most successful are those who moved far away, perhaps to exotic locales like Singapore or Sydney or to American commercial centers like Wall Street or Silicon Valley. But recent research indicates that sometimes it’s best to stay close to mommy and daddy.  

Anirban has more of the story. 


Sean MacEntee/flickr

There are plenty of items that are becoming more expensive, whether healthcare, apartments, gasoline, or homes. But occasionally, one will come across a product or service category in which prices are falling.  Air travel is perhaps poised to be one of those categories.  

Anirban has more of this story.


When the price of gasoline or food goes up, we usually view that as bad. If the prices of goods and services rise too rapidly, it is expected that the Federal Reserve will clamp down on money supply to keep inflation in check. But when the price of homes rises, that’s often discussed in the context of economic improvement. 

Anirban has more on this story. 


Inflation

Feb 28, 2017
Jon Welsh/flickr

Inflation is beginning to emerge. The prices Americans pay for goods and services surged last month by the largest amount in four years, reflecting in part a rebound in the cost of gasoline.

Anirban has more on this story. 


cjuneau/flickr

In the ongoing debate regarding immigration, one argument put forward for limiting immigration is that reductions in the supply of foreign labor will lead to higher wages among native-born Americans. New research indicates that this equation for improved labor market outcomes isn’t quite so simple. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, a team of economists has analyzed the mid-century Bracero program, which allowed nearly half a million seasonal farm workers per year into the U.S. from Mexico.

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