How Manufacturers Prepare in an Uncertain Economy
President and Principal of the Institute for Trend Research (ITR) Economics, Dr. Alan Beaulieu made his 11th appearance and economic forecast for 2020. Attended by over 600 business leaders and owners from the tri-state area, Beaulieu is no stranger to the Manufacturing and Industrial community. A prolific author and international consultant to numerous trade associations such as the National Association of Wholesalers (NAW), Beaulieu’s background is rooted in academia, but his keen sense of real-world know-how provides a truly unique perspective and ability to analyze data and forecast business cycles. Given his proven track record of nearly 95% accuracy since 1980, his experience enables him to be a valued advisor to small and large organizations across industries around the globe.
In light of the upcoming presidential elections, Beaulieu addressed the room of manufacturing management personnel by reminding everyone that historically speaking, the political party of the president in office has no bearing on economic results, regardless of what is portrayed in the media. He also dispelled the notion that the performance of the stock market is a good indicator of the economy’s overall performance and health. Beaulieu encouraged business owners to instead analyze the hard numbers associated with your individual businesses’ growth as well as the industry’s growth. By doing this, decisions will be made “void of emotion,” as he puts it, and allows one to act confidently during times of uncertainty.
Beaulieu offered further insight into the business cycles of the manufacturing industry by noting that the overall sector has experienced a slight decline recently, and may continue to do so for the next few years. Long term, Beaulieu and his team at ITR economics are calling for an increase in economic activity following this brief decline, referring to the period over the next decade as “the roaring 2020’s.” Dr. Beaulieu advises that now is a great time to invest into your business, before the pickup in activity occurs. He explains that the traditional business response to a current slowdown is to hold onto cash and not invest in your business. Unless you want mediocre results, this is a poor idea. He encourages business owners to invest in equipment and production lines now so that businesses are ready to take the advances in the economy in stride. However, Beaulieu warns that he and his constituents are reaffirming that the 2030s will mark the start of an economic depression as consumer over-confidence and over-leveraging reemerge during the late 2020s.
Throughout Beaulieu’s presentation, he touched on tariffs and updates to the new tax law, what his most influential leading indicators are saying, what you can expect of interest rates, housing and construction costs, trade talks with China, national debt and other factors that impact the economy. The nationally recognized economist did ensure the audience that with the boom of the 20s on the horizon, the US becoming energy independent, and with the proper response to economic troughs, there is plenty of room for manufacturers to grow throughout the coming years. Beaulieu and his firm provided attendees with plenty of information to prosper in the age of decline through numerous platforms including emails, videos, blogs, and podcasts available on their website.
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.