Blog Posts

  • August 30, 2018
    There are many ways to define competitiveness. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), competitiveness is “the set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity of a country and its levels of economic prosperity.” A competitive economy is, therefore, a...

  • August 23, 2018
    The preponderance of leading indicators are suggesting increased likelihood that the US economy, as measured by US Industrial Production, will be on the back side of the business cycle in 2019. However, our forecast does not just call for Phase C, Slowing Growth, in 2019; we are...

  • August 22, 2018
    Unintended consequences remain the overarching theme of tariffs. We find that tariffs are almost always inflationary, as they raise the price of imported goods to protect often higher-cost domestic production. Elevated input costs are contributing to rise in Producer Prices, which were up 4...

  • August 17, 2018
    The Aug. 16 Wall Street Journal talked about a “surge in retail sales,” with an inference that a strong economy will persist as we move ahead. It also mentioned the rising trend in manufacturing as an example of strength. A look at the numbers shows that “surge” is an overstatement....

  • August 15, 2018
    Is US manufacturing dead? Not exactly. Contrary to this often-repeated pronouncement, total US manufacturing production has more than doubled since the 1970s and is now close to record-high levels. Manufacturing employment, on the other hand, has fallen over this period, and the reduction...

  • August 8, 2018
    During the Q...

  • July 25, 2018
    A valuable self-assessment tool, benchmarking provides firms a barometer of their performance relative to their markets or peers. At ITR Economics, we often help businesses with this process by plotting their 12/12 rate-of-change (for sales, orders, or any other metric of company...

  • July 19, 2018
    Militarily speaking, Russia is a powerful country; some might say even on par with the US. We are economists, however, not politicians. Accordingly, we think in metrics and mathematical terms. Economically speaking, there is no equivalency between the US and Russia. We use the below chart in...

  • July 18, 2018
    Both US businesses and the consumer at large are engaged in a multiple-front battle with inflation. Prolonged acceleration at the global level (World Industrial Production has been accelerating for 20 months and counting) has put upward pressure on commodity and raw material pricing for US...

  • July 13, 2018
    Debt and More Debt! Corporate and consumer debt is growing. This cannot, and will not, continue with impunity in the years ahead. We are now sowing the seeds for a future downturn in the US economy, but is it a problem for today as many fear? Delinquency rates show no immediate problem with...