The Morning Economic Report

Monday-Friday at 7:33 am

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. 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.

The U.S. economy expanded by a lackluster one point five percent on an annualized basis during the third quarter, but don’t blame consumers.  Spending by consumers on goods like furniture and services like healthcare and insurance advanced at more than twice the pace of the overall economy during the July to September quarter. 

Those concerned by global warming might presume that the entire planet will suffer if the earth continues to get hotter.  But a recent article published in the scientific journal Nature indicates that the economic impacts will vary significantly between nations. 

Let’s say that you are single and want to make yourself appealing to others.  There are many things that one could do.  Sit-ups, learning Italian, or perhaps going online and creating a misleadingly positive profile.  These are all productive activities, but perhaps the best way to make oneself more attractive is to improve one’s credit score. 

Reno, Nevada is also known as the Biggest Little City in the World.  The town has been known as a much smaller and less glamorous version of Las Vegas, with its primary industry being gambling.  But Reno’s leaders have decided to secure fortune in a different way, turning its back on casino tourism as an economic driver in favor of emerging as a manufacturing hub for everything from car batteries to drones. 

It was weakness in the nation’s housing market that dragged the U.S. economy into its worst recession in recent memory in late two thousand and seven.  Hundreds of thousands of construction workers lost their jobs.  How times have changed.  Orders for new homes were up twenty one percent during the first eight months of twenty fifteen compared to the same period a year ago. 

The nation’s home builders haven’t been this optimistic in ten years.  The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index was recently released.  This index rose in October to sixty four points, up from sixty one in September.  The last time the index reading was higher was in October of two thousand and five at sixty eight points. 

As many economic observers know, China’s economy has been slowing.  That has many implications for the global economy, including for steel manufacturers located around the world.  China produces about half of the world’s steel, more than the U.S., European Union, Russia and Japan combined.  Over the past decade, the nation’s construction boom meant that China’s steelmakers could depend upon steadily growing demand for structural steel. 

Home builders are increasingly facing delays and rising costs as they struggle to locate enough construction workers.  That represents a far cry from the recession when the construction workforce was hit harder than any other major occupational workforce in America.  The housing boom of roughly a decade ago helped push construction industry employment above seven point seven million in two thousand and six. 

Based on surveys of employers, job growth in America has been disappointing recently.  Despite that, the nation’s unemployment rate, which is based on a survey of households, stands at just five point one percent.  Some economists believe that the survey of employers, or so-called establishment survey, is failing to fully count the jobs the economy is creating. 

During the Great Recession, companies ratcheted up the requirements necessary to secure a job.  As indicated by the Wall Street Journal, beginning in two thousand and seven, firms posting job listings in a variety of industries began requesting bachelor’s degrees or multiple years of experience where previously neither was required.