9 Encouraging Signs for the Economy in 2017

The Great Recession is over and the American economy is rebounding. That bodes well for 2017. Economist have seen a number of encouraging signs that make them optimistic about the growth of the American economy. All of this is good news for the American economy in 2017.

Matthew David Parker expands on the following 9 encouraging signs of economic recovery for 2017.

1. Rise in Expensive Equipment Sales

Technology companies, hospitals and other major companies continuing to buy high-priced technology and specialized equipment will help the economy to grow in 2017. This can lead to shipping and industrial transportation companies hiring more workers and pumping money into the economy.

2. Housing Sale Prices Are No Longer In Free Fall

Housing prices serve as a good indicator of the country’s economic activity. Most Americans have the vast majority of their wealth tied up in their homes. If the market value of their homes rise it means their wealth increases. Research has shown that property value has begun to rise in most of the largest metropolitan markets. It is expected that this trend will continue into 2017 and beyond and can strengthen the country’s economic growth.

3. Advertising Sales Are Growing

Another good indicator of the potential for economic growth in 2017 is the fact that companies are spending more on advertising. Investments in advertising makes up a significant portion of the economy. The more companies spend on advertising the more the economy will grow. Some experts anticipate that advertising sales will rise by as much as 10% in some segments of the media. That kind of growth will help the economy to continue to recover in 2017. It canal so help both the media and the businesses they are paid to promote to grow as well.

4. Factory Production Is Increasing

Manufacturing makes up about 13% of the American economy. The Federal Reserve has said it has seen factory production exhibiting incremental growth. Some automobile manufacturers have stated that they intend to increasing production by as much as 27%. That can lead to job increases both in the production, sales and other related industries and help to further buoy the economy and help it to continue to expand and grow in 2017.

5. Record Corporate Profits

Corporate profits are at an all time high. This means corporations have more money in their coffers and are more likely to increase the amount they invest in workers, equipment and advertising. Clearly this has the potential to have a profound impact on economic growth in 2017.

6. Retail Sales A Up

An increase in retail sales is a good sign. When people spend their money instead of saving it, that stimulates the economy. It increases factory orders and all related industries. This and the economic growth it inspires appears poised to continue happening in 2017.

7. Unemployment Is Down

More Americans are working this year than last and that trend seems to be continuing in 2017. As more Americans get back in the workforce it will mean more money will be spent. This will result in further economic growth in 2017.

8. A Weak Dollar

A weak dollar helps U.S. businesses to sell more products abroad because their foreign business partner will have favorable exchange rates and the American products will be cheaper. The resulting influx of foreign money in 2017 can help to fuel economic growth.

9. Economists Say The Economy Is Improving

A rosy outlook from economists builds consumer confidence. Perception is just as important as reality when it comes to consumer spending. A positive economic outlook for 2017 can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.


Introducing Ralph Slaske of Slaske Builders

Ralph Slaske has been building homes for more than 10 years. Before custom home building, he ha worked at Johnson Controls as an engineer and a project manager. In 2005, he has founded his company under the name of Slaske Building Company. He has earned a great reputation and a lot of trust in Northwest Ohio as a home builder. He has run his business from an approach that is centered on his customers and clients. He has taken the time to understand what his customers want and build some trust between him and his clients he has served. One thing he understood is the investment that his clients were making.


A Few Words From Business Expert Ralph Slaske

Dave Ramsey, Zig Ziglar, Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison; these are just a few names linked with the brilliant business minds that changed business and America forever. “If you want to change the way you think, study those who think differently than you,” said business expert Ralph Slaske. To add to Slaske’s quote, I’d like to add a few words of my own: If they are in life where you want to be.

Studying business geniuses is a great idea, but why would you? What can you learn from these people? For one thing, you’ll learn principles that aren’t taught in school (but why?!), and you’ll also learn how to look at failure and loss differently. The majority of people believe that if something doesn’t work, then we need to run away from it and find something else that will. Someone with a business has learned that if something doesn’t work, try again, then try again, then try again in a different way. Attack the problem in different angles. If your solution didn’t change the problem, change your thinking about the problem.


Lessons to Be Learned From Richard Thaler’s Memoir, “Misbehaving”

Richard Thaler has always been an interesting figure in economics, and there is a lot to learn from the recently released memoir detailing his professional life, which Thaler appropriately titled “Misbehaving.” Thaler, now tenured at the University of Chicago, has long provided a number of insights into behavioral economics, and there is a great deal investors can learn from these insights. This is especially true for those who do not realize how human nature affects every aspect of the decision-making process, including those related to our investments and long-term financial plans.

Perhaps the most important lesson is to understand how we make decisions based on the way a situation is framed. Thaler uses a number of examples to show how irrational we are with regard to financial matters, using simple situations such as an individual who would not pay $10 to have his lawn mowed by someone else but would also not accept $20 to mow a neighbor’s lawn. There are obvious human errors in the way we value the things, and the way these things are framed is often the sole determining factor. For another example, a patient who is told that they have a 95 percent chance of surviving a surgery is much more likely to go ahead with the procedure than the person who is told that there is a 5 percent chance of dying.

So what does all of this have to do with finance? Well, it is necessary to understand how information is presented to us and to make decisions based on the actual information rather than the manner of presentation. This requires a willingness to thoroughly evaluate each opportunity, and it also requires that we begin to place more trust in the advanced metrics that eliminate presentation and focus solely on the pure data available. As humans, we like to believe that we are able to think rationally at all times, but there are too many times in which we make poor decisions –- financial or otherwise –- due to the way our choices are presented to us.

In reading Thaler’s book, it is clear that we have a lot to learn. Understanding how we make decisions and the manner in which we are affected by behavioral economics is key to overcoming our own inherent flaws. The process through which we overcome these flaws is quite difficult, but it is ultimately worthwhile for ensuring consistently sound financial decisions.


What Do Record Auto Sales Mean for Federal Interest Rates?

While most observers have taken the news that the major United States automakers are enjoying record monthly sales as a sign of the growing strength and continued improvement of the U.S. economy, there are some other effects that should be considered before getting overly excited. Yes, the dollar has regained some of its strength and this has buoyed concerned consumers, and declining gas prices have certainly encouraged the increase in car sales, but it is important to avoid overlooking the fact that this perceived consumer strength will very likely lead the United States Federal Reserve to consider raising interest rates.

It is for this reason that the true causes of the surge in auto sales should be evaluated more closely to determine whether the increase is indeed due to the current strength of the dollar and not simply a confluence of factors that boosted sales above the norm but do not hint at sustained success. The fact that, for example, many regions throughout the country have suffered through extended winters may have led to many potential buyers delaying their purchase. After all, automakers are coming off of a very poor sales month in April, so perhaps this recent May increase may be nothing more than a product of buyers waiting out the inclement weather before investing in a new vehicle.

The fact that the financial crisis kept many consumers away from the automobile industry for many years may also have something to do with this, and it is fair to say that consumer confidence is not exactly at an all-time high within the auto industry. To draw any sweeping conclusions over the strength of the entire United States economy due to one very strong month of sales following a very poor month seems to be a potentially significant error. This is especially true if the Federal Reserve is indeed considering a raise in interest rates simply due to a momentary increase in one sector, however important or sizable that sector may be.

Ultimately, consumers should be pleased that auto sales are on the rise, but the long-term health of the auto industry is hardly secure, and the idea that the automobile sector should serve as any reflection of the United States economy is incredibly flawed. The dollar may be stronger and more consumers may be buying cars, but to say that the economy is fully recovered and thriving to the point in which interest rates should be raised is a frightening proposition.


Thawed Relations With Cuba Bound to Bring About Positive and Long-Term Economic Change

Much has been made of the long-overdue thawing of relations between the United States and Cuba, and the matter has remained a somewhat surprisingly contentious issue among parties on both sides. This is going to be a long process of normalization due to the resistance that is still apparent on each side, but the economic changes that should come from all of this ought to prove overwhelmingly positive in the long run. It should be plainly evident, however, that the majority of people on both sides of this issue see an economic opportunity in Cuba that should prove mutually beneficial for both nations. The issue is how to optimize these opportunities in a way that equally satisfies the leaders of both the United States and Cuba.

The trade embargo has had an undeniable effect on the economy of Cuba, but the point of the embargo was to stimulate the type of political change that would push Fidel Castro and his regime out of power. The embargo and the other financial sanctions imposed upon Cuba have not been able to accomplish this despite the effects on Cuba’s diplomatic relations with other countries, and the political impact on the perception of the United States in Latin American countries has been too great for this to continue to go on. Improved relations and, eventually, the lifting of the trade embargo, should aid in reducing the anti-American sentiment that has spread throughout Latin America.

Private enterprise has been opening up in Cuba since Fidel’s brother, Raul, assumed power in 2008, but the thaw in relations between the island nation and the United States should bring about more opportunities for growth while simultaneously loosening the grip of the Castro government’s state monopolies. The issue facing Cuba and the Castro regime, however, is determining how increasing economic liberalization will affect the regime’s ability to retain power. This is likely the reason that Cuba has thus far focused on improving diplomatic relations before discussing broad economic issues, as there is a chance that rebuilt relations could accomplish what the sanctions had initially intended by pushing the Castro regime out of power in Cuba.

As political fodder, the upcoming Presidential election should see plenty of discussion regarding relations between the United States and Cuba. From a purely economic standpoint, a thaw would be mutually beneficial for both countries, as Cuba would undoubtedly see its economy improve tremendously while the United States could enhance its political standing among the Latin American nations in which there has been a growing sentiment of anti-Americanism.