The Economy in 2015: Prosperity in the Age of Decline
Businesses all over the country are wondering what the year will hold in terms of economic health. Will there be another first quarter stall-out similar to last year’s polar vortex-induced financial freeze? Can companies expect oil prices to continue their record lows, boosting consumer cash in-pocket? What ways can everyone become prepared for what’s ahead this year?
In a recent Fridays with Vistage webinar, Brian Beaulieu and Alan Beaulieu of ITR Economics walked Vistage members through their specialized, time-tested and highly accurate forecast for the year to come.
A Year of Growth, But at a Slower Rate
ITR’s forecasting shows that the U.S. Industrial Production is strong and in a growth cycle for 2015, but the rate of rise will slow slightly over this and the next few years. Look for continued growth at a slower pace. Don’t straight-line your expectations from 2014 into 2015, instead plan to adjust to the moderate rate of growth for best results.
The Impending Labor Predicament
Employment is looking up for 2015 with private sector employment up 2.1%, job openings up 13.3%. A shortage of skilled labor across a host of industries coupled with new manufacturing jobs entering the market will cause a steady rise in demand for skilled and talented labor. A key tactical issue facing managers in 2015: dealing with rising labor costs, attracting quality workers and keeping them onboard.
International Areas to Watch
Oil Prices/Instability in the Middle East: This is occurring on a smaller scale, but watch Saudi Arabia, Iran, Nigeria and Venezuela specifically.
China’s Debt Problems: China’s ongoing debt problem is a bit of a mystery to the world, as there is a combination of debt in the shadows as well as out in the open. However, as long as China does not admit to recession and the world does not acknowledge it, they are most likely free to solve the problem on their own, with state-run banks and government-controlled financial systems.
Where is the economy taking your business? Check out Brian and Alan’s Book Prosperity in The Age of Decline: How to Lead Your Business and Preserve Wealth Through the Coming Business Cycles.