Blog Posts

  • March 29, 2018
    The world economy is humming along. In fact, 2017 was the first time in many years that all major economies tracked by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) experienced positive year-over-year growth. Expansion is still accelerating in most regions, including...

  • March 28, 2018
    Two important sets of numbers President Trump announced $60bn in tariffs against a broad swath of Chinese made goods coming into the US. The stated reason for the tariffs is to punish China for the theft of intellectual property. He is certainly not wrong in terms of the theft of IT. China said...

  • March 27, 2018
    The Trump Administration decided to exempt the European Union, Argentina, Brazil, South Korea, and Australia from the steel and aluminum tariffs that went into effect on March 23. Below is a list of the top 11 sources of imported steel into the US. This seems to leave Russia, Japan,...

  • March 22, 2018
    At ITR Economics, we strive to keep emotion out of our analysis and to stick to the facts. Solid economic forecasting and objective, actionable consulting demand it. We use numbers and trends in our economic analysis and avoid hyperbole. I recently heard a (non-ITR) speaker offer two...

  • March 21, 2018
    The business cycle peak is coming. Our economic forecasts have been calling for it since early last year, and our latest analysis points to mounting evidence from economic indicators that it will happen by mid-2018 as we expected. If your business correlates to the overall economy, this...

  • March 13, 2018
    The President imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum on March 8, and that action dominated the conversation for much of last week. We discussed this issue at some length in our ITR Trends Report Executive Summary (which was released on March 9). We direct our economic consulting efforts...

  • March 7, 2018
    Electric and hybrid vehicles have been billed as the transportation of the future. In 2017, global sales of electric vehicles surpassed one million units for the first time, bringing the total stock of electric cars above three million. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that...

  • March 1, 2018
    A tariff tantrum it is, seemingly, when it comes to US trade policy in 2018. Early this morning, US President Donald Trump tweeted out his latest thoughts on the rumored tariffs coming for steel and aluminum imports (below), apparently doubling down on his wish to see them come to fruition...

  • February 28, 2018
    Tariffs and quotas on imports are inflationary. Businesses whose consumer products are made from the “protected goods/material” typically see two effects: The cost of the component/manufacturing input will rise. Especially regarding certain steel grades. We simply do not have sufficient...

  • February 27, 2018
    We are at that point in the business cycle when the leading indicator signals become “mixed.” Our leading indicator methodology is set up to account for this. We wait until two, then five, and ultimately 10 indicators have flipped from rise to decline, as is the case for 2017-2018. When...