Global Economy, Competitiveness, Foreign Trade, Imports & Exports, Economic Environment, Energy
The price of oil has decreased by 39% since June. OPEC’s decision to maintain production at its current level resulted in a sharp drop at the end of November. The main reasons for the decline are increased U.S. oil production and slowing growth in world oil consumption. Barring an outbreak of turmoil in the Middle East, the price of oil is likely to remain low.
The success of our free enterprise system over the past century—buoyed by the tremendous capacities of the industrial sector—has helped create a far wealthier and healthier society. In the span of one century in America, per capita income grew 358%, from $9,375 (in today’s dollars) to $43,000. More affluence means better healthcare and nutrition: the average life expectancy at birth grew 44%, from 55 to 79.
The international financial system faces a “dollar twilight dilemma” that will result in a transition from the dollarized financial system of the past seven decades to some form of multi–key currency relationship, which will include a s
Global Economy, Economic Environment, Labor, Recession
The aging baby boom generation will keep the participation rate falling for at least another decade, and some individuals’ decisions to work longer will not be enough to offset the tendency to retire. In a couple of years, firms should see widespread, tight labor markets, making young talent particularly difficult to find.
Over 10 years, the stock of U.S. direct investment in Canada grew continuously, but the U.S. share of Canadian FDI decreased. Changes to Canada’s foreign investment regime may help sustain the upward trend of U.S. investment stock by making it relatively easier for private U.S. businesses to invest in our northern neighbor.
Finance, Tax, U.S. Tax, Federal Tax Rules & Regulations, U.S. Tax Policy, Global Economy, Money & Finance, Government Finance
In early March, President Obama sent his official FY15 budget to Capitol Hill. Judging by the reception, not just from House Republicans but from a jaded White House press corps, the proposal is clearly DOA. It’s not the first proposed budget to get such a congressional snub. But considering the White House’s cavalier approach to this budget, and Congress’s inability to agree to a formal spending plan over the past decade, the budget process created almost a century ago is in desperate need of reform.
Global Economy, Economic Environment, Labor, Leadership, Human Resources, Staff Training & Development
Recent data from the Programme for International Student Assessment and a new survey of adult skills highlight significant skills deficits for U.S. students and adults relative to their counterparts in key regions of the world. The situation appears especially difficult in the math arena.
Manufacturing sector activity, as measured by the Federal Reserve Board’s industrial production index, grew by just 2.3% in 2013, down from 3.9% in 2012. Activity in the fourth quarter, however, grew at an annualized rate of 6.2%. Despite relatively slow growth, various benchmarks indicate that the manufacturing sector’s overall financial performance in the third quarter of 2013 improved on a year-over-year basis and is vastly better than it was during the contraction as the Great Recession took hold. If, as MAPI forecasts, manufacturing activity grows at a faster rate in 2014 and 2015, the solid financial performance of the past year should continue.
China achieved its position as the largest manufacturing economy through extremely fast growth in physical volume of manufacturing activity and modest inflation. When accounting for population, however, China has high manufacturing intensity for a developing economy but is well behind advanced countries such as the United States.