CEO and chief economist of the Institute for Trend Research (ITR) Economics, Brian Beaulieu took the place of his twin brother, Alan Beaulieu, this year to make his first appearance at the 21st Annual Manufacturing Webinar, cosponsored by Barnes Dennig and Huntington Bank. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this highly anticipated event was forced to move to a virtual platform for the first time, but the virtual platform allowed a record number of attendees with over 800 local tri-state business professionals tuning in the day after the presidential election to hear Beaulieu’s economic forecast. Beaulieu has spent the last 38 years of his career researching the business cycle and analyzing economic forecasts to help businesses improve profitability. Traveling across the globe, Beaulieu has been trusted by hundreds of thousands of business executives to help them improve their business and become better prepared for the years to come.

The recording of this event and Beaulieu’s slide presentation is available to request in the On-Demand Events section of our website.

Beaulieu began the session discussing the current state of the global pandemic and gave insight on what himself and the rest of the ITR team are expecting will stem from the COVID-19 pandemic. The ITR Economics team have built their economic forecast around two assumptions for the coming years: the first being that there will be a vaccine available in 2021, the second being that the vaccine will not be widely available until 2022. He also noted that the pandemic was a natural disaster, not an economic disaster, and that they have been looking at how the economy has responded after other natural disasters as well.

Next on the agenda was discussing the effects of the presidential election that was just held the previous day. While the results of the election had not been firmly decided at the time, Beaulieu was very reassuring in that presidential elections have historically not impacted the economy. The U.S gross domestic product (GDP) has risen under all administrations since the 1950’s even when the President, the House, and the Senate are all held by one party. In the likely event of a Biden presidency, an increase of personal taxes will not be detrimental to the U.S. economy, and leading indicators suggest that consumers will continue to spend. However, Beaulieu warned that the Biden plan to increase the top corporate tax from 21% to 28% could be problematic because that would put the U.S. out of the normal corporate tax range relative to our major trading partners.

Manufacturing GDP for the U.S. as well as Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky are believed to have hit their low point and will be back on the rise in 2021 leading to completely recovered manufacturing GDP and production numbers by 2022. The U.S. aircraft and aerospace products and production have taken a deep dip in the past few years and will unfortunately take longer to recover than other industries. The COVID019 pandemic has hit business and recreational travel harder than most industries creating the extended lag in manufacturing production returning.

Overall, on a global scale Beaulieu believes that the U.S. is an extremely strong position economically because we have measurable and diverse demographics, government based upon rule of law, and an abundance of natural resources. Other countries are heavily investing in the U.S., not just the stock market, but are investing in companies and creating more jobs. The unemployment levels are rapidly dropping back to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels and Beaulieu warns that it could become increasingly difficult to find quality employees. He recommends businesses invest in training and technology as the market of skilled employees continues to decrease. He assured attendees that the 2020’s are going to be a decade for the U.S. economy to prosper and for businesses to recover and grow.

Additional Resources

This seminar was presented by Barnes Dennig and Huntington Bank. You can request access to review the recording of the seminar and download the presentation slides here.

Have a Barnes Dennig team member reach out to you to discuss the recap of Beaulieu’s event, and to determine if Beaulieu’s forecasting tools present opportunities for your business. You can contact us here anytime or give us a call at 513.241.8313.