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.

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The Morning Economic Report
9:08 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Affordable Care Act Tax Penalty - 2/20/15

According to the U.S. Treasury Department, between 3 and 6 million Americans will have to pay an Affordable Care Act tax penalty for not having health insurance last year.  The penalty for failing to have health insurance in 2014 is $95, or 1 percent above a certain income threshold, which means that some people will end up owing quite a bit of money. 

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The Morning Economic Report
8:33 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Home Remodeling Market - 2/19/15

Despite faster employment growth, including in middle-wage industries like manufacturing, and incredibly low mortgage rates, the overall U.S. owner-occupied housing market is still struggling to gain substantial momentum.  However, as indicated by a recent report released by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, the home remodeling market continues to flourish. 

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The Morning Economic Report
8:29 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Oil Production - 2/18/15

Though lower oil prices are generally viewed favorably by many economic actors, this is less likely to be the case in oil producing states like Texas and North Dakota.  For several months, oil industry and other analysts have been predicting major reductions in investment related to oil production.  Those predictions may turn out to be true, but to date there is little evidence that oil-related investment is collapsing according to Bloomberg. 

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The Morning Economic Report
8:44 am
Tue February 17, 2015

Economic Growth - 2/17/15

According to Moody’s Analytics, economic growth is now evident across most of the country.  On a handful of small metropolitan areas is in recession, and each of them is constrained by a unique feature such as an extremely intense reliance upon federal spending or a single product.  Income growth continues to be strongest in the West, where expanding technology industries pay high wages. 

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The Morning Economic Report
6:12 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

Economic Recovery and the One Percent - 2/16/15

Emmanuel Saez, the economics professor from the University of California-Berkeley best known for analyzing IRS numbers that help characterize income inequality, recently released his preliminary estimates for 2013. 

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The Morning Economic Report
6:49 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

Shrinking Middle Class - 2/13/15

America’s middle class is shrinking, at least if one defines the middle class as representing those families making between $35,000 and $100,000 per annum.  Most listeners are probably not surprised that the middle class is shrinking, but what may prove surprising is that some of this is for a welcome reason – many Americans have moved up into what might be considered the upper middle class. 

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The Morning Economic Report
8:57 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Low-Income Students - 2/12/15

According to a recent Southern Education Foundation report, the majority of children in America’s public schools are now low-income.  Specifically, the share of school children who qualify for free or reduced lunches crossed the 50 percent threshold in 2013.  That compares to fewer than 32 percent back in 1989. 

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The Morning Economic Report
8:56 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Economic Improvement in Africa - 2/11/15

For years, Africa has stood out among the world’s regions for its lack of economic progress.  That’s not the case anymore.  Africa’s per capita income over the past decade has expanded at a rate nearly identical to that of the rest of the world.  As indicated by writer David Leonhardt, a middle class has begun to develop in West Africa, from Ghana and Nigeria down to Angola. 

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The Morning Economic Report
9:00 am
Tue February 10, 2015

Working and Motherhood in Japan - 2/10/15

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in an effort to accelerate growth in Japan, has begun to emphasize the importance of supermoms, women who both work and have children.  According to a recent New York Times article, Japan has traditionally been a nation in which juggling work and family is difficult.  To encourage more women to work, Mr. Abe must overcome an entrenched corporate culture that treasures long, inflexible hours that work for men but not for working mothers. 

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The Morning Economic Report
9:06 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Economic Development Strategies - 2/9/15

Every so often, communities invest in the development of economic development strategies.  Almost without exception, these strategies extol the virtues and opportunities attached to these communities, but ultimately conclude that employment growth and real estate values can be better supported if policymakers undertake a set of reforms, whether with respect to taxes, regulation, training opportunities and/or infrastructure investment. 

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