Posts tagged “Mike Walden”
It's a tall order to say anything definitive about the economy that far away. So many things can, and will, happen that are on nobody's radar screen. Making predictions for 2040, 2050 or 2060 really are "shots in the dark." There are largely two camps - optimistic and pessimistic. Here's a look from an economist's point of view.
Analysis: I was born in 1951, and most of my current students were born after 1990. I and they have certainly seen our lives altered by new inventions and innovations, especially in information technology and communications. But some say that, while these changes have been significant, their impacts have not been as transforming on daily lives as those brought about by electricity, the automobile and tractor, the telephone and the radio in the 20s and 30s. It's popular to say we live in a fast-paced, highly connected, ever-shifting world. But a strong case can be made for that world actually occurring 90 years ago.
Possible reasons are numerous. However, economists are now thinking that a major reason for slow job growth is a skills mismatch. That is, many workers are unemployed because they don't have the skills and training employers want. There is some thinking that with the development of information technology and digital applications, the skills mismatch may have expanded in recent years.
Analysis: My calendar is already booked solid for presentations about the economic future all around North Carolina. I always open my talks with a well-worn joke - that economists are better at predicting the past than the future. After the laughter subsides, I make the serious point that economic forecasting has a high error rate, especially when the forecasts are for specific numbers like the jobless rate, new jobs created and the change in spending. However, economists are much better at recognizing and predicting general economic trends. So, let me begin with economic trends for 2014. I - and most economists - see several good trends.
N.C. State University economist Michael Walden forecasts improving economic conditions and job growth in the coming months. Read more from the executive summary of his winter economic outlook report.
Opinion: We rely on economic statistics to give us an idea of what's occurring, says NCSU economist Mike Walden. But there are lots of economic numbers and measures. What do they mean, and what are they saying about our state's economy today?
Analysis: There are actions North Carolina public leaders can take to improve the long-run competitive position of the state and to gain both jobs and income. These actions revolve around the two broad areas that state government directly controls -- state taxes and state spending.
Analysis:. As 2012 comes to a close, the nation is focused on discussions and debates about the fiscal cliff and efforts to tame the federal government's financial affairs. In this discussion, there have been many terms, concepts, ideas and relationships bandied about, many times not in a very understandable way.
Analysis:. The economy -- and particularly jobs -- was clearly the top issue during the political campaigns. Two big questions now face the office winners. What is the condition of the economy? And what, if anything, can government do to quickly improve the economy?
Analysis:. Let me be the first to say I'm totally flattered when asked for my forecasts. And, like most of my colleagues, I certainly have forecasts and am willing to give them. Yet I always say to take my or any economist's projections not with a grain of salt, but with a ton!
Opinion: "He is the greatest man of our generation," former North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt said of William Friday, who died early Friday. His home state owes Friday a huge debt of gratitude.
Analysis: In general, the economy has improved in the last two years, but whether we're back to where we were prior to the recession depends on which indicator is examined. In answering the better-off question, know what is being measured, the time period being covered and why. This will lead to a better you decide.
Analysis: Government spending for Medicare has been jumping off the charts and soon could comprise an unsustainable chunk of the federal budget. Therefore, all plans to slow the growth of government spending and borrowing have to address Medicare. The big question, of course, is how?
Analysis: Behind the scenes there actually is substantial agreement about what's needed in the economy, especially from our public policy makers? Well, the good news is there is agreement in at least six areas (by my count) that span the economic and political divides.
Analysis: There is worry today that the North Carolina economic miracle has waned. Income per person in the state, relative to income per person in the nation, began dropping in the late 1990s and is now in the upper 80 percent range. The state's unemployment rate -- perhaps the most watched economic indicator -- surged during the recession to be one of the highest in the country and has been above 9 percent for more than 40 consecutive months. But a look inside the numbers muddies the waters.
Two new reports present a challenging future for the job market. Still, we shouldn't throw up our hands and conclude nothing can be done. While tactics and perspectives may have to be changed, there are some credible ideas and paths for job creation that are worthy of consideration. But you decide if they should be followed.
Analysis: The skepticism about the reported inflation rate revolves around three questions. Does it include everything we typically buy or are some important products omitted? Does it match everyone's personal experience? And why does it often seem prices are rising faster than what the official inflation rate suggests?