Macro Insights

2024 Survey of Professional Forecasters

2024 Survey of Professional Forecasters

The near-term outlook for the U.S. economy looks better now than it did 3 months ago, according to 34 forecasters surveyed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. The forecasters predict the economy will expand at an annual rate of 2.1% this quarter, up from the prediction of 0.8% percent in the last survey.

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The Government Employee Count Leading Indicator

The Government Employee Count Leading Indicator

When the economy is expected to turn down, corporate America quickly engage consultants to “right-size” their workforces. Layoffs come quickly, sometimes hacking away a sizeable portion of existing staff. Uncle Sam does just the opposite, with amazing precision.

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UPenn’s Budget Model Predicts When Fed Debt levels Become Unsustainable

UPenn’s Budget Model Predicts When Fed Debt levels Become Unsustainable

Under the current policy, the U.S. has about 20 years for corrective action after which no amount of future tax increases or spending cuts could avoid the government defaulting on its debt. This time frame is the “best case” scenario, under market conditions where participants believe that corrective fiscal actions will happen ahead of time. If, instead, they start to believe otherwise, debt dynamics would make the time window for corrective action even shorter.

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Part 2: Dr. Dave Kohl’s Global Economic Outlook

Part 2: Dr. Dave Kohl’s Global Economic Outlook

According to Dr. Kohl: the U.S. must have an economic heart attack before it will fix out-of-control debt; China’s population will shrink -25% by 2050; India is on its way to surpass China as the world’s largest economy; and green energy is moving into the disillusionment stage.

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Part 1: Dr. Dave Kohl’s Global Ag Outlook

Part 1: Dr. Dave Kohl’s Global Ag Outlook

Dr. Dave Kohl’s (Academic Hall of Famer in the College of Agriculture at Virginia Tech) presentation for the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corp. highlighted how domestic farmers are faced with slowing growth (driven by prospects for less export demand) & a continuation of elevated costs as the U.S. becomes a secondary supplier in the world. 2024 could be very volatile…

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Survey Reveals a Weakening Labor Market

Survey Reveals a Weakening Labor Market

ResumeBuilder.com’s survey of 906 business leaders with 10+ employees in December 2023 revealed that 38% are likely to initiate layoffs & 52% are likely to implement a hiring freeze in 2024. Further, according to the survey, 65% of business leaders say they already laid off employees during 2023 & 25% of that group laid off 30%+ of their workforce.

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2024 Global Economic Prospects Part 2: Slowing Growth Outlook

2024 Global Economic Prospects Part 2: Slowing Growth Outlook

Amid a barrage of shocks during the past 4 years, the global economy has proved to be surprisingly resilient according to the World Bank. Major economies are emerging mostly unscathed after the fastest rise in interest rates in 40 years without the usual scars of steep unemployment rates or financial crashes. Global inflation is being tamed without tipping the world into a recession. It is rare for countries to bring inflation rates down without triggering a downturn, but this time a “soft landing” seems increasingly possible. However, economic growth needs to be faster for the sake of the world’s poor…

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