Blog Posts

  • 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...

  • December 1, 2017
    The economy is generally purring along as we head into the close of 2017. Indications are that 2018 is going to be another good year for businesses tied to US GDP and/or World Industrial Production. We are seeing signs that support our expectation of a slowing/flat economy for 2019. Since nothing...

  • November 24, 2017
    Tax reform, which has dominated much of the Q...

  • November 24, 2017
    H-B1 visas, and immigration in general, can be a highly politicized topic. It can also be emotionally charged. We are going to keep this at the dispassionate economic level, and as Joe Friday used to say, stick with ‘just the facts’. The administration has slowed the inflow of people using H-B1...

  • November 22, 2017
    The overriding concern I have for the US economy is the labor shortage. However, every recently minted college grad is going to ask “what shortage? I am right here!” People (including ITR Economics) are looking for future employees with very particular skill sets, performance track records, and...