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Dr. Alan Beaulieu, nationally recognized economist from Institute for Trend Research (ITR) Economics, presented his economic forecast on November 16th, 2017 at the 18th Annual Manufacturing Seminar, presented by Barnes Dennig, Huntington Bank and DBL Law. Beaulieu is a principal, as well as the president of ITR Economics who provides economic forecasts with 94.7% accuracy. His pro-business mindset enables companies to reduce their risk and drive profitable business decisions.

Beaulieu opened his presentation by asking the audience: “What worries you about the future, and what’s going on with the economy that I can help you with?”

The audience of over 500 business leaders responded with popular topics such as: the national debt, international trade, health care, and taxes. Before digging into these topics and the bulk of his presentation, Beaulieu reviewed his 2016 forecast results, which included an impressive 99.1% accuracy for U.S. gross domestic profit. He then touched on some key factors in 2017, such as the U.S. industrial production increasing by 2.2%, as well as the impact of the various hurricanes on the economy. Beaulieu stated that although the hurricanes had a temporary impact on the macroeconomic environment, it was not enough to change the 2017 forecast.

With 2018 right around the corner, Beaulieu informed us that the U.S. economy will continue to excel into the beginning of 2018, but it will then be followed by a slowdown in the second quarter, which will carry into the first half of 2019. Technically, this will be labeled a recession, however, he encouraged us that businesses will be “off, not seriously down.” During this mild recession, Beaulieu is challenging business leaders to grow and change their businesses in order to better prepare for 2020, or as he referred to it: “the roaring 2020s.” Beaulieu exclaimed that the 2020s will be positive years – a time to enjoy life by investing in your business and being as efficient as possible.

Despite the upcoming mild recession, the U.S. economy is in the lead compared to every other country in the world. Dr. Beaulieu stated that we should be looking into the future with enthusiasm due to the following positive factors:

  • Consumers are in great shape
  • Interest rates remain favorable
  • Employment is rising, as are wages
  • Banks are lending
  • Retail sales at a record high level
  • Housing starts remain strong
  • Exports are 3.2% ahead of last year and rising

While explaining the growing U.S. economy, Dr. Beaulieu also touched on the pressing questions from the beginning of his presentation. A brief summary of his answers are as follows:

  • The national debt is an ongoing issue, regardless of who is in the White House
  • International trade is stable as evidenced by the 3.2% increase in exports
  • The U.S. has the highest total health care expenditures in the world
  • The economy will only experience a short-term benefit from tax reform

Although some of these topics may worry us, Beaulieu stressed that we should not magnify these issues; we should instead focus on growing our local businesses.

In addition to the factors listed above, Beaulieu informed us that, contrary to what many people think, manufacturing in the U.S. is on the rise. In fact, businesses are moving from China back to the U.S., and 59.8% of U.S. exports are manufactured products. This means that we are able to compete globally. Furthermore, the amount of manufacturing job openings are at a record high, especially in Hamilton County. Beaulieu explained that Hamilton County is employing more individuals at a faster rate of growth when compared to Ohio as a whole. The average annual wages of manufacturing workers is also increasing in Ohio, making our state an attractive place for businesses.

Although Beaulieu had a positive forecast for the first quarter of 2018 and the 2020s, he reminded us of the severe depression forecast to hit in 2030. He cautioned us to plan and prepare our businesses during the late 2020s so that we can mitigate the risks the depression will ultimately bring. In order to survive the depression, Beaulieu wants us to remember that the most important responsibility of any company is to make a profit. As he does year after year, Dr. Alan Beaulieu left the audience with a plethora of information to ensure a more profitable and brighter future.

Additional Resources

This event was recorded for guests who want to recap the information discussed, or for those who might have missed the seminar.

Additionally, we have prepared a summary of the presentation in greater detail. Access to the summary presentation can be requested here.

Please contact us if you would like access to the recording, or would like to discuss any of the content covered in greater detail with a member of the Barnes Dennig team.