The Morning Economic Report | WYPR

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.

Recently released data presented in a report from the Congressional Budget Office indicate that U.S. family wealth totaled sixty seven trillion dollars in twenty thirteen.  The report also indicates what we all know – that that wealth is shared rather unequally. 

Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of economic performance in America during the early stages of the millennium is summed up in one key metric – median household income. 

Measured in twenty fourteen dollars, median household income hit an all-time high in nineteen ninety nine at nearly fifty eight thousand dollars.  As reported by Bloomberg, two years ago, it stood at well below fifty four thousand dollars having fallen by more than seven percent from its all-time high. 

Despite an official unemployment rate below five percent, millions of jobs created since the previous recession, and the recent attainment of record stock prices, Americans remain downbeat regarding their economy. 

Get ready for another weekend of round-the-clock coverage of the U.S. election cycle.  For months, many economists have expressed skepticism regarding whether or not the pending November twenty sixteen elections were impacting the economy. 

While consumers continue to shun department stores in favor of purchasing merchandise online or consumer services like entertainment and travel, they continue to spend enormously on their homes. 

Retail Sales - 8/24/16

Aug 30, 2016

America’s economic recovery remains consumer led.  With government outlays expanding very slowing, business investment remaining soft, and erratic export growth, consumers have represented the only significant prime mover. 

When people think about technology in the U.S., they are likely to think about markets like Silicon Valley, Boston, Northern Virginia, Maryland’s I-two seventy corridor, Research Triangle and other places where high tech firms have clustered.  They may not think about Jackson, Mississippi and Nashville, Tennessee, but technology has been expanding rapidly in these markets in recent years. 

According to a recent Labor Department report, the nation’s largest metropolitan areas have continued to steadily add jobs over the past year.  Through June, nonfarm employment expanded in all fifty one of the U.S metropolitan areas with a twenty ten Census population of one million or more. 

You’ve heard it before – politicians and others railing against big government.  But data indicate that the era of big government has actually been fading.  For instance, as reported by Bloomberg, there are nearly fifteen million more workers on nonfarm payrolls now than there were at the end of two thousand and nine. 

Conventional wisdom suggests that the low skilled American worker is doomed.  On the one hand, technology and globalization has been reducing demand for their skills.  On the other hand, rents, medical expenses, tuition and other items are becoming more expensive.