America’s Economy

America’s Economy is the world’s wealthiest and most powerful.  Even macro-economists find it challenging to picture this as it is just so large.  But the numbers speak for themselves. Since 1871 America has been the world’s largest economy.  Indeed in 2018 it was measured at $20.58 trillion in 2018 in nominal terms.

For comprehension purposes the only way even macro-economists can fathom this enormity is by looking at GDP and labor force numbers as well as trade balances.

So let’s now look at trade balances.  Last year goods and services trade deficit was valued at $616.8 billion; imports – $3.1 trillion and exports – $2.5 trillion – not the best figures.  Adding insult to injury the trade deficit just for goods was $866 billion.

However, there was still a decline in the overall trade deficit for America in 2019 so that is definitely a good sign. Moreover, the US’s goods deficit with China declined too. Still, experts believe that many more stringent policies must be put in place to further reduce the deficit.

Recharge Your Community’s Economy

Four one-day workshops are being offered – at no fee – by Native American Development Corporation, Rural Community Assistance Corporation and the People’s Partner for Community Development. The first one is next week, March 24.  This will be followed by April 28, May 12 and June 16 – each one will follow from the one before and will last for 6 hours.

To be held at the Charging Horse Casino Bingo Hall (on East U.S. Highway 212), they will start at 9am and finish at 3pm.  The subjects covered include: an analysis of where the economy is today; pinpointing emerging economic opportunities for the future; how to select the right leaders who are best equipped to respond to those opportunities; a development of plans to make those visions a reality.

US Economy: Growth Industries

The cement industry in America seems to be faring well. One measuring tool is cement consumption and right now it has been relatively high. What’s more is that experts anticipate it will continue to grow (albeit modestly) over the next few years.  As Portland Cement Association’s Senior VP and Chief Economist Ed Sullivan pointed out:

“The economy doesn’t have the zip and the vigor that it had 10 years ago, and so what we’re seeing is the economy’s now in late stages of economic growth and recovery. That suggests that overall growth is going to start to slow, which is reflected in a slowdown in GDP numbers. It’s also reflected in our slow-down in job creation numbers.”

Sullivan added that both job creation and consumer sales numbers have not plummeted at all which is also a good indicator of stabilization and continued growth as well as an increase in home prices.

There have been some upturns in solar job industry following a dip in employment in the industry.  Employment in the solar industry jumped by 2.3 percent in 2019 and 5,600 jobs were added during the same time frame.  In addition, 31 states had an increase in solar jobs in 2019.

Reducing America’s Carbon Footprint

In an effort to alleviate its universal carbon impact, over the next 10 years Delta airlines will be investing $1 billion into fuel-efficient aircrafts, replacing single-use plastics with a greener substance and more.   Ed Bastian, the firm’s Chief Executive pointed out that:

“There’s no challenge we face that is in greater need of innovation than environmental sustainability, and we know there is no single solution.”

The current situation is that it has been very hard for airlines to help preserve the environment since the development and supply of biofuels is minimal and challenging.  While technology has advanced so greatly in other parts of the transportation industry, the air travel part lags behind and we are not witnessing any futuristic fuel-efficient planes.  Still, Delta is committed to making an impact.

Meanwhile, in California researchers might be closer to a solution.  At the Viterbi School of Engineering in Southern California’s University, work is being undertaken in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. A metal carbide nanoparticle has been discovered as having the capacity to  convert CO2 into fuel.  Should this actualize it would be the first ever time a would be able to produce sustainably at low temperature resulting in the production of particles at a low cost, but industrial scale, while at the same time having a substantially lesser impact on the environment, ultimately diminishing greenhouse emissions throughout the world.

America’s Manufacturing Sector: Good, Bad or Somewhere in Between?

The manufacturing industry in the US has gotten a bad rep over the last few years.  On and off.  It’s hard to determine where it stands today but in this article we will take a look at some of the more accurate indicators.

From around June 2019, a recessional atmosphere occurred in the industry.  But that turned around in January according to a report from the Institute of Supply Management.  The report showed a jump in purchasing manufacturing index to 50.9 – even higher than predictions of 48.5.  According to NY’s ING’s Chief Economic Strategist, James Knightly:

“It seems likely that the phase one trade deal with China has generated a positive lift for the sector by giving some certainty that there will be no more tariffs, at least in the near term.”

Furthermore, it is believed that 2020 will “likely be a better year for US manufacturers,” due to the stabilization of international growth and the light at the end of the tunnel for domestic economic activity.

On the other hand, Anneken Tappe of CNN Business would have us believe that “America’s manufacturing sector is in a recession.”  But, she adds, “that is only part of the story,” and illustrates how two factors are at play here: the expansion of factories and their recession. In 2008, the manufacturing industry began its road to recovery, adding around 1.4 million jobs. But still, it has been dipping for the last 40 years.  

So that’s the current summary of the good and bad in America’s manufacturing sector.

America is currently harboring an overwhelmingly huge debt right now, owing more than four times what it did just two decades ago. oXYGen Financial founder and CEO Ted Jenkin said:

“Like any budget that you have in your household, we have too little income and too many expenses. [However, this could have valuable significance for the consumer.  It doesn’t look like interest rates will increase all that much in the short-term since if they did reach 6 percent or over] the net interest on the debt in our fiscal deficit would actually be the No. 1 line expense on our budget.”

But is this really the case?  If – as Jenkins would have us believe – the consumer is in a better position now, how come the recorded number of new vehicles purchased was lower last year than in previous years. According to research from Cox Automotive, Edmunds and J.D. Power/LMC Automotive, there was a 1 percent decrease in sales from 2019 as compared to 2018 – the lowest in sales since the 2014 figure of 16.5 million.

President of Americas Operation and Global Vehicle Forecasting Jeff Schuster said:

 “Despite a lot of noise and some uncertainty with light-vehicle sales, 2019 has turned out to be a strong year. Much of that uncertainty has dissipated with USMCA nearly across the finish line, the progress with the China trade deal and an economy that is expected to be supportive.”

Trump supporters also believe that this will help business leaders believe that any bolster in consumerism will lead them to put faith in politicians for the upcoming 2020 election.

Oil Growth Takes a New Path

With constant and increasing talk of climate change and environmental preservation and moves away from oil and gas related products, major firms are increasing their manufacturing of plastic products.  These firms include ExxonMobil and Shell.

Given that petrochemicals (the chemical materials that derived from petroleum through a process of refining) now makes up to 14 percent of the use of oil, it is anticipated that there will be a doubling of the production of plastic over the next two decades.  Indeed, according to Steven Feit, Staff Attorney on the Climate and Energy Program at the Center for International and Environmental Law (CIEL) said:

 “In the context of a world trying to shift off of fossil fuels as an energy source, this is where [oil and gas companies] see the growth.  [As such these large corporations] are looking for a way to monetize it.  You can think of plastic as a kind of subsidy for fracking.”

in addition, today natural-gas futures dropped to their nadir in almost four years.  plummeting below $2 million British thermal units the drop resulted in a 5.4 percent dive to $1.895 per MMBtu.  This is simultaneous to the explosion in shale which has revolutionized the entire energy industry in America, inundating the market with natural gas and oil.  Predictions by the US Energy Information Administration include an increase of 2.9 percent this year in the production of dry natural gas.

American Businesses and Local Manufacturing

While the last few years – decades even – have seen manufacturing move away from America and toward Asia, that trend may be changing.  This doesn’t necessarily indicate a complete transformation but there do seem to be additional manufacturing workers in the United States today.

Arizona is a fantastic illustration of this. International companies in the area currently have close to 110,000 locals on their books.  Out of that, 24,300 work in the manufacturing industry which accounts for 22 percent of all globally-created jobs in the region.  This trend has been increasing over the last 5 years as data has shown that there has been a 35 percent increase since 2014 in the number of internationally-created jobs in Arizona.

This trend seems to not be confined to Arizona. According to recent government data over 62 percent of new US manufacturing jobs were created in the last five years. Some examples of these firms are: Anheuser-Busch, BP and DHL.

Ohio is developing a similar reputation.  over 13,000 locals are employed by Honda’s local manufacturing facilities.  Honda is doing amazing things for the local economy with its $10bn annual expenditure in the region.

And then there are the large automakers which manufacture cars in America, specifically Acura, BMW, Honda, Subaru and Toyota.  in addition, Ohio-based gas motorcycle manufacturer Cleveland Cyclewerks, recently announced its entry into the electric motorcycle industry following its production of gas-powered motor vehicles through domestic (and overseas) assembling, manufacturing.

Starting a Business in 2020: What to Know

In this video, Foundr CEO Nathan Chan, the CEO of Foundr gives a brief introduction to his TOP 5 most profitable online business ideas for 2020. First, use current skills you have and sell it as a service If you are a designer, a videographer, a copywriter, a nutritional advisor etc.: go on to one of the many freelance sites out there and sell yourself. Start a side hustle. Ask yourself what are the skills you have and then go out and sell those skills as a service. Sell your skills to businesses. You can also teach the skills you have. Online courses are becoming increasingly popular.