Will the strength of the consumer sector be enough to provide a soft landing for the industrial sector? Or will the decline in business investment gain momentum and ultimately pull the consumer sector down with it. To put it more succinctly, will we have an overall economic recession next year or not?
Consumers are fully employed with rising incomes. They also have relatively low levels of household debt, which has been accrued at low interest rates. And most importantly, they account for over two-thirds of all U.S. economic activity.
It is stating the obvious to say the U.S. plastics industry changed substantially in the past 30 years. But if we want to manage, or even benefit, from future changes, it is necessary to glean an understanding of the lessons from the past.
This increase surprised most analysts, and while practitioners of the dismal science rarely get excited, this certainly caught our attention. It is not an exaggeration to say that the rate of change in productivity levels is the most important statistic in macroeconomics.
It is no secret that the labor market across all sectors of the U.S. economy is tight. The total number of job openings is at a historically high level. It is so high that there is less than one unemployed person per job opening. This gap is the widest for jobs in the high-wage industries. So it is no surprise that total wages are rising at an accelerating rate.