The Morning Economic Report

Monday-Friday at 7:33 am

The Morning Economic Report is on hiatus while Anirban Basu serves on the transition team of Governor-elect  Larry Hogan.

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
10:17 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Expanding Income Inequality - 9/18/14

In recent years, there have been a slew of studies cataloging evidence of expanding income inequalities.  Here’s another.  According to a recent analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank, average incomes rose by 10 percent from 2010 to 2013 for the most affluent 10 percent of American families.  For the balance of the population, average incomes were flat or declined.

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The Morning Economic Report
9:12 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

529 College Savings Plans - 9/17/14

529 college savings plans represent the financial tools that are most recommended to parents striving to save for a child’s college education.  The principal appeal of 529 college savings plans is that investment returns aren’t taxed so long as the money is used for education. 

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The Morning Economic Report
9:05 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Expansion of Medicare Expenditures - 9/16/14

One of the biggest threats to the U.S. economy and to the federal budget is the expansion of Medicare expenditures.  Given America’s aging population and the growing cost of healthcare, the notion is that Medicare expenses could eventually edge out many other budgetary items, including infrastructure and homeland security. 

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The Morning Economic Report
8:57 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Value of the U.S. Dollar - 9/15/14

There is much dread expressed regarding the future of the U.S. dollar.  Many seem to believe that America is simply printing money to fuel economic growth and to pay back debts.  If that were true, inflation would be more problematic than it is, and interest rates would be higher.  Moreover, the value of the U.S. dollar has actually been rising recently against many major currencies, not falling. 

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The Morning Economic Report
9:06 am
Fri September 12, 2014

U.S. Federal Budget Deficit - 9/12/14

The U.S. federal budget deficit is now projected to be a bit wider this year than was predicted four months ago due to weaker-than-anticipated economic growth during the first half of the year.  The weaker growth translated into softer tax collections according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.  The projected shortfall for the current federal fiscal year, which ends on at the end of this month, is now $506 billion compared with an April prediction of $492 billion. 

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The Morning Economic Report
9:47 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Validity of the Unemployment Rate - 9/11/14

There are many who have expressed doubt about the validity of the nation’s official unemployment rate.  Some, like former General Electric CEO Jack Welch, have suggested that government statisticians have been exaggerating job growth for political purposes.

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The Morning Economic Report
8:30 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Apartment Market Boom - 9/10/14

America’s housing market is booming, but it’s not the market for single family homes, but for apartments.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over the last 12 months, builders have broken ground for buildings encompassing 332,000 apartments.  According to writer Floyd Norris, that is more than during any comparable period since 1989.  By contrast, construction of single family homes continues to recovery slowly. 

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The Morning Economic Report
10:25 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Declining Median Income - 9/9/14

One might be tempted to think that people should be feeling pretty good about the economy right now.  Five years of economic expansion are behind us and we are now operating during a sixth.  The stock market has been surging and job growth has been solid. 

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The Morning Economic Report
9:00 pm
Sun September 7, 2014

America's Job Market - 9/8/14

There is little question that the U.S. labor market is now improving, but ongoing research indicates that America’s job market remains deeply wounded.  A recent paper authored by University of Chicago economist Stephen Davis and the renowned University of Maryland economist John Haltiwanger highlights evidence of labor market stagnation. 

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The Morning Economic Report
9:13 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Accelerated Hiring in Higher Quality Jobs - 9/5/14

After years of producing generally low wage jobs, America’s labor market is now producing a better mix of positions.  Hiring has accelerated in segments such as construction, manufacturing and professional services in recent months – sectors with median wages of at least $20 per hour.  As reported by the Washington Post, nearly 40 percent of the jobs created over the past 6 months have been in high-wage industries compared with just a quarter during the latter half of 2013.  Meanwhile, the pace of growth in many low-wage segments has leveled off or even declined.

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