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.

The Rise in Contract Employees

Feb 17, 2017
Kathryn Decker/flickr

Even as hiring activity remains brisk and more firms spend resources training employees, many American companies are activity planning to hire fewer people in the future. As indicated by writer Lauren Weber, the outsourcing wave that moved thousands of apparel manufacturing jobs to China and dozens of call center operations to India remains just as likely to happen within companies across the U.S. and in virtually every industry.

Job Training

Feb 16, 2017

With the economy approaching completion of its eighth year of recovery, employers large and small are complaining that they can’t find workers with the right skill sets. Skilled workers in manufacturing, construction, logistics, finance, technology and other industries have been steadily scooped up as the economy has expanded. The result is that more businesses are now spending resources to train people to satisfactorily fill available job openings.

Job Growth

Feb 15, 2017
Jeremy Sternberg/flickr

Many economists have been indicating that the economy is approaching full employment. This doesn’t mean that the unemployment rate will soon be zero – it means that we are approaching a situation in which a tighter labor market will eventually translate into more inflation, which in turn will produce higher interest rates.

Jon Welsh/flickr

Economists generate lots of forecasts. Usually, we offer many caveats along with our estimates, indicating that the accuracy of our forecasts is threatened by a set of risks. Risks can take many forms, including geopolitical risks like war or terror, policy risks such as unanticipated actions by the Federal Reserve or a presidential administration, or sudden financial market corrections.

The Global Economy

Feb 13, 2017

The global economy is one massive riddle. For instance, in a world characterized by sluggish economic growth, why are companies around the world hiring so aggressively, and why hasn’t the demand for workers translated into faster wage growth? As pointed out by writer Tom Fairless, from Tokyo to London, unemployment rates have declined. In America and in the United Kingdom, the official unemployment rate has been below five percent recently. In the 19 nation Eurozone, the unemployment rate just hit a seven year low.

Female Homeowners

Feb 10, 2017

You’ve heard it before. Women earn less than men – they pay harsher penalties in the workplace when pursuing parenthood – they also often struggle more with debt and save less for retirement. But as pointed out by Bloomberg, there’s at least one area of personal finance in which single women are outpacing their male counterparts in America – homeownership.

Pachakutik ../flickr

Who does one consider to be the head of a particular household? Economic circumstances have much to do with that designation. As pointed out Janet Adamy, a century ago, father’s were typically considered to be the head of household. That status often derived from dad’s role as the sole breadwinner.


One of our contemporary conventional wisdoms is that healthcare spending is surging because of our expanding life spans. As indicated by writer Austin Frakt, the average American lives three years longer today – reaching nearly 79-years-old, than in 1995. The median age in the U.S. is set to rise to about 40 by 2040, up from less than 38 years today.

Aging and Economic Growth

Feb 7, 2017

For years, economists have fretted that rapidly aging populations in the developed world will suppress global economic growth. As reported in The Wall Street Journal, a new working paper released by the National Bureau of Economic Research challenges that view. The paper, authored by economists from MIT and Boston University, argues that aging population have not had a negative effect on the growth of per capita gross domestic product.

Dan DeLuca/flickr

There has been a lot of discussion regarding America’s sagging labor force participation rate. The participation rate, which reflects the proportion of adults who are working or looking for work, stands only a few tenths of a percentage point above a multi-decade low. Men have been at the center of much of the discussion, including those living in rural areas or in Rust Belt cities. Male labor force participation has been declining for some time, but the economic impact was less apparent when women were entering the labor force in large numbers.