Feb 122017
 

Don’t miss the excellent piece on the importance of immigrants to Silicon Valley in the New York Times February 9, 2017. Some highlights: “Silicon Valley is unlikely, as a phenomenon — it is not the default state of the world,” said John Collison, an immigrant from Ireland who is a [continue reading . . . ]






Jan 042017
 
Living dangerously

The global economy is likely to grow at between 3% and 4% in 2017 adjusted for inflation and differences in exchange rates. Emerging economies, led by Asia, are likely again to outgrow advanced economies (the U.S., Europe, Japan). That’s the word from one of the world’s most respected and widely followed [continue reading . . . ]






Aug 152016
 
Economic update

For a quick economic update for members of Bellevue Rotary recently, I updated several slides I usually include as a part of my talks and added a new one or two. You can download all of them as a PDF file here. Among bullet points: We live in a slow-growth world. [continue reading . . . ]






Dec 172015
 
Slow-growth world

Raising interest rates a quarter point as the Fed did this week does not change the fact that we live in a slow-growth world. Money markets and commodities markets are singing the same song in unison: Almost no inflation, and very little growth. To say that commodities prices have collapsed [continue reading . . . ]






Sep 302015
 
Needed: More, not fewer, immigrants

Worried about your Social Security benefits? You ought to be. Whether you are in your 70s or your 20s , the number of workers taxed to support you in our pay-as-you-go social-insurance system are or will be fewer than supported your parents and grandparents. We’re living longer and having fewer [continue reading . . . ]






Sep 202015
 

Don’t miss the essay in the Wall Street Journal on Sept. 19, 2015 by Dr. Bjørn Lomborg, the Danish author and environmentalist, featuring what I regard as uncommon sense on climate change. No Wall Street Journal subscription? If you have a library card in your purse or wallet, you can [continue reading . . . ]






Sep 052015
 
Tonight's Top 10 List

Employment has been growing faster than average in the recent past on the West Coast generally and in the Pacific Northwest states in particular. Among the states I follow as a regional economist, Montana and Alaska, both hit hard by the collapse of oil prices, rank well below aveage. The [continue reading . . . ]






Aug 292015
 
The recovery: Still tepid

Good on us that the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate estimated at 3.7% in the April-May-June quarter rather than the 2.2% rate announced as the first estimate a month ago. But don’t get too excited. State and local government spending accounted for a higher-than-average share of the growth [continue reading . . . ]






Aug 192015
 
The next recession: Made in China?

If you haven’t read it, get to your library (or use your library card) to read Ruchir Sharma’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal August 17 (Page A 11). He argues that with advanced economies stuck in slow-growth mode, the globe is “one shock away from recession” and that the [continue reading . . . ]






Jun 122015
 
Condemned to slow growth?

June marks the end of the sixth year since the Great Recession passed into history. At 18 months, it was the lengthiest recession since World War II, surpassing the 16 months of the other notably long-lived  post-war recessions, ended in March 1975 and November 1982. For duation, of course, the [continue reading . . . ]