Blog Posts

  • January 24, 2018
    The US economy is buzzing. The stock market is up, most businesses conquered the world in 2017, and, if the first few weeks are any indication, this year will be better than the last. We are relaxed, giddy even, with the optimism over what 2018 will bring for our businesses and ourselves....

  • January 18, 2018
    A friend, who is also a client, recently asked me a couple of interesting questions in regard to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. First, he asked why some companies are exhibiting a sudden burst of generosity (bonuses and such). He noted a lack of a reasonable explanation of why they are...

  • January 10, 2018
    Exports are important to economic growth in the US. Exports of goods and services for the 12 months ending September 2017 were 11.8% of GDP (nominal dollars) — $2.295 trillion (US Census Bureau). Goods comprise 66.1% of the total. Most people seem to think we are a minor exporter compared to China...

  • January 3, 2018
    Perspective is an amazing thing. Look at the first chart below. It shows the S...

  • December 29, 2017
    It is common to hear that Amazon is going to take over the retail world and that brick and mortar retail stores are about to become a thing of the past, along with distributors. That is fiction. That premise assumes that retail stores do not provide an experience that people enjoy and that...

  • December 27, 2017
    Early reports suggest that the healthy-consumer finances that we discussed in prior posts contributed to one of the best holiday shopping seasons since the Great Recession. US Total Personal Consumption Expenditures through November were up 4.5% year over year. Our ITR Consumer Activity Leading...

  • December 22, 2017
    The tax reform bill of 2017 may increase homeowners’ monthly housing costs by scaling back deductions that allow them to reduce mortgage interest and property taxes. However, the point to remember is that property taxes and other state taxes are still deductible up to $10,000 and mortgage interest...

  • December 20, 2017
    With turbulent negotiations ongoing, the future of NAFTA is uncertain at best. With the vast amount of items up for revision or on the chopping block altogether, companies who deal with NAFTA – be it upstream or downstream, directly or indirectly – will be assuming a large risk by betting on any...

  • December 19, 2017
    We are heading into 2018 with the economy in good shape in most segments. Industrial, service, and retail data point toward a strong first half of 2018. We expect slowing growth in the second half of the year. That outlook is unchanged. If you align most closely with US GDP, 2019 will be a year of...

  • December 15, 2017
    For more than a year now, ITR economists have consulted with businesses (via our Leading Indicator programs) to increase their prices as a means of protecting their profitability from higher labor and material costs. However, there’s another reason why companies should look for opportunities to...