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The Morning Economic Report

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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.

Higher Oil Prices

May 22, 2017
Ryan Lackey/flickr

Though oil prices remain low by longer-term historical standards, they are considerably higher than they were in early 2016. Those higher prices have unleashed a surge in investment among U.S. shale producers, which are collecting boosting their drilling budgets ten times faster than the balance of the world. 

The Job Churn

May 19, 2017
Kathryn Decker/flickr

There is nothing economists like more than challenging conventional wisdom. As an example, there is a widely accepted narrative indicating that the U.S. labor market is presently experiencing an unprecedented rate of technology driven disruption. This is made apparent by, for instance, the growth in online retail sales and the loss of jobs at brick and mortar retailers.  Or by the expansion of Uber and the pressure this places on cab companies.  

One of reasons that the U.S. economy grew rapidly for much of the 20th century was the large-scale entry of women into the workforce. Female participation in the workforce expanded only gradually for much of the century, but then expanded rapidly from the early 1970s through the early 1990s.

Anirban has more. 

AP/Mark Lennihan

According to available estimates, the U.S. economy expanded just 0.7  percent on an annualized basis during the first three months of 2017. Despite that, many economists describe economic conditions as improving. They probably are.

Anirban has more. 


While it is true that home values are rising in many neighborhoods in the context of low inventory and more prospective buyers, in many communities, the housing market has still not fully recovered from the financial crisis – this according to a new study from Trulia.  

Listen for more. 

College Enrollment

May 15, 2017
John Loo/flickr

While there has been a considerable amount of discussion in recent years about whether college students are forced to take on too much debt, high school graduates continue to head to college in large numbers. 

Anirban has more on this story. 


May 12, 2017
Glenn Carstens-Peters/Unsplash

This might feel like a remarkable period for entrepreneurship in America, with companies like Twitter and Snap making their impact felt both in our lives and on financial markets. But beneath the headlines made by the latest Silicon Valley darlings is evidence that new companies aren’t the economic engine that they were in decades past.

Listen for more on this story.


May 10, 2017

Inflationary pressures have been building globally. For instance, as indicated by writer Neil Irwin, in the Eurozone, inflation reached two percent during the year ended this February for the first time since 2013. In America, a key measure of inflation that is favored by the Federal Reserve crossed the two percent threshold for the first time in five years.

Anirban has more. 

Sellers Wield Power

May 10, 2017

You remember that a few years ago the housing market could be easily characterized as a buyers.  During and after the recession, there was a flood of foreclosures and a dearth of people qualifying for mortgages looking to purchase a dwelling.  The result was a collapse in prices.  

Anirban has more on this story. 


Despite the ability of communications technology to better connect us to the balance of the world irrespective of where we are, cities are becoming more important, not less so. This is particularly true for cities in emerging nations. While wealthier nations of the world were urbanized decades ago, the proportion of urban dwellers in emerging markets is in the range of fifty percent today.  

Anirban has more on this story.