Fortune’s 2017 Crystal Ball

Each year, Fortune magazine presents an interesting series of predictions for the coming year. The 2017 “crystal ball” is based on these principles (and includes the use of IBM Watson 🙂 ): “The election of Donald Trump to the presidency represents a seismic shift in American politics, an event with implications nearly impossible to predict. […]

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TIAA-CREF’s Chief Economist: Four 2016 Video Forecasts

TIAA-CREF, the full-service investment firm that manages nearly $835 billion in assets, recently produced a series of short videos about the year ahead (2016) featuring its Chief Economist Tim Hopper.    1. The U.S. economy should accelerate modestly this year.   2. Fed rate hikes could stimulate economic growth this year.   3. The U.S. economy is on […]

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Why Aren’t Wages Rising Faster?

Positive performance of the Gross Domestic Product? Check. Unemployment rate still dropping? Check. Energy prices down from last year? Check. (Despite some recent price increases). So, why haven’t U.S. wages risen faster and higher than they have? Are wages finally ready to have a meaningful uptick? According to Knowledge@Wharton: “An early spring looks in store […]

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Turning the Corner on Consumer Spending

As reported by Stagnito Business Information’s New Products Report: “Consumer spending is in line with pre-recession trends and consumer optimism is higher than it’s been in years, according to Mintel’s annual comparative audit report American Lifestyles 2014. That’s a sunny outlook from consumers, one that certainly will benefit CPGs and retailers this year and into […]

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The U.S. Middle Class: Losing Some of Its Luster Globally

The income of the U.S. middle class is still among the world leaders — but the lead is narrowing. According to, David Leonhardt and Kevin Quealy, reporting for the New York Times: “The American middle class, long the most affluent in the world, has lost that distinction. While the wealthiest Americans are outpacing many of […]

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Is the Recent Stock Market Decline a Harbinger of Things to Come in 2014?

2013 was a great year for the U.S. stock markets — with all major indexes posting double-digit increases. What drove 2013’s results? A stronger economy Declining unemployment The Federal Reserve’s decision to keep the “pedal to the metal” Better consumer confidence A calmer global marketplace than in 2012 Low interest rates, giving investors fewer choices […]

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The JWT Intelligence 2013 Global Anxiety Report

Last month, we posted a video about consumer anxiety around the globe. Now, JWT Intelligence has published a report titled AnxietyIndex 2013 Global Report: “In the latest installment of our research around the levels, intensity, and drivers of anxiety around the world, we surveyed 6,075 adults aged 18-plus across 27 markets in Western Europe (Finland, […]

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An Improved Housing Market Means Good Things for the Overall Economy

In economics, the multiplier effect refers to the impact of one industry sector on other industry sectors. In the United States (and many other countries), the housing industry has a HUGE effect on other industries. That’s why the depressed housing market was such a major contributor to our Great Recession. As such, a recent story […]

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