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 current U.S. economic recovery will celebrate its seventh birthday next month.  But for millions of Americans, the pain endures.  As indicated by writer Ben Leubsdorf, an estimated one in six U.S. workers lost a job between two thousand and seven and two thousand and nine. 

A new estimate from the International Monetary Fund indicates that roughly two trillion dollars’ worth of projects, permits, and other transactions around the globe were tainted by bribery last year.  That amounts to approximately two percent of total global economic output. 

Following the examples of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, the United Nations has downgraded its forecast for global economic growth the year.  The UN report on the World Economic Situation and Prospect now forecasts just two point four percent output growth for the planet this year, which would represent the same performance as last year. 

Economic growth in the U.S. continues to be driven in large measure by increases in consumer spending.  Many economists expect consumers to remain the economy’s principal source of momentum, in part because they anticipate rising credit card use. 

Remember a few years ago during the Great Recession when many families committed to take on less debt.  They’re less committed now.  As reported in Bloomberg, household borrowing surged in March at its fastest pace since November two thousand and one. 

Perhaps you’ve heard that all is not well in Puerto Rico.  This has been the case for several years and circumstances are poised to deteriorate further.  As reported by Bloomberg, the Planning Board, which calculates the island’s economic growth, recently released its fiscal twenty seventeen forecast. 

For years Americans have been reaping fewer gains from a growing economy in the form of pay and benefits.  Shareholders have been reaping more, helping to explain rapidly expanding wealth gaps in America.  But as indicated by Neil Irwin, recently, that trend has been reversing. 

As indicated by writer Josh Zumbrun, are recently as the mid-1980s, one could categorize American workers into four groups, three of which numbered about thirty million people apiece.  Approximately thirty one million people were involved with non-routine cognitive jobs, often referred to as knowledge work. 

The Great De-Coupling

May 18, 2016

There has recently been considerable discussion regarding the likelihood that large numbers of jobs will soon be destroyed by automation.  Machines are increasingly becoming like humans, and this is most vividly represented in the form of robots, artificial intelligence and driverless vehicles. 

There has recently been a deep decline in America’s industrial output.  U.S. industrial production, the Federal Reserve’s measure of manufacturing, mining and utility output, fell by nearly two percent during the first quarter from a year earlier.  Frequently, a dip in industrial production signals imminent recession.