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.

Better Bridges

Jun 5, 2017
melissaclark/flickr

One of our standard national narratives is that America’s infrastructure is collapsing. Our pipes leak, our water is polluted, our bridges obsolete, and our airports prehistoric. What is less often heard are some of the improvements being made to infrastructure. For instance, as indicated by writer David Harrison, America’s bridges are actually getting sounder.  

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. 


Auto Loan Debt

Jun 1, 2017
John Loo/flickr

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
kuhnmi/flickr

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. 


Mike Mozart/flickr

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. 


Horsepower

May 29, 2017
Leo Hidalgo/flickr

If you’re driving right now, you might note that there are a lot of powerful cars around you. You might be in a high horsepower vehicle yourself. As reported by Bloomberg, last year, America’s drivers looking for a vehicle with more than 600 horsepower had 18 models to choose from.  

Anirban has more on this story. 


Lagging Cities

May 26, 2017
Erich Ferdinand/flickr

It’s a big country, which among other things means that something that generally characterizes the nation may not be pertinent to the conditions prevailing in dozens of communities. Here’s an example. We are now in the midst of the third longest economic expansion in U.S. history. The nation’s unemployment rate is at roughly a decade low, but as indicated by writer Jeffery Sparshott, nearly a third of America’s cities and suburbs have failed to regain all of the jobs they lost during the most recent recession.

The Labor Market

May 25, 2017
Glenn Carstens-Peters/Unsplash

If one wanted to make the argument that the U.S. labor market is in good shape, one could easily quote a few statistics to make the case. One might be tempted to start with the fact that the official unemployment rate stands at 4.4 percent. As pointed out by writer Greg Ip, unemployment has been this low only twice since 1990.

Global Economies

May 24, 2017
Ricardo/flickr

There has been a considerable volume of discussion recently regarding improvements in global economic performance. Last year, the worldwide economy expanded just three point one percent. The International Monetary Fund predicts that this year will be better, and that global output will expand 3.5 percent.  

Anirban has more on this story. 


The National Debt

May 23, 2017
AP/Mark Lennihan

There has been a lot of discussion about tax cuts recently, both corporate and personal at the federal level.  One might be tempted to think that the based on the renewed appetite for tax cuts, the national debt is no longer a significant issue. That inference is flawed. The national debt continues to be a major issue. 

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