Market Thoughts: Looking Ahead and Abroad

The mid-year U.S. economic recovery numbers look strong. On Wall Street, analysts predict that our economy will expand by trillions of dollars and create 2 million good-paying jobs throughout the next 10 years. However, despite nearly 1 million jobs reported in July alone, the White House cautioned that the resurgence in COVID-19 cases among unvaccinated…

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What’s the Future for Products Made in America?

According to a recent survey of supply chain professionals, the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted 98% of global supply chains. Among the most disruptive supply challenges was the procurement of personal protective equipment, pharmaceuticals and semiconductors. Companies that had outsourced manufacturing to other countries experienced firsthand the types of risks associated with offshoring.   The previous administration…

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Putting Inflation Expectations in Perspective

Historically, inflation has been highly correlated with unemployment levels. When more people were out of a job, inflation was lower. As more people got jobs, inflation increased. From an economic point of view, this makes sense. Jobs increase income, which increases spending, which increases demand — supplies drop and prices rise. The opposite is true…

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Ranking the World’s Nations

What’s the best country? After several years at No. 2, Canada leads the globe, according to U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Countries” rankings for 2021. It’s followed by Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Australia and the United States.1    The criteria used to make Best Country determinations included quality of life, agility, entrepreneurship, an “open for…

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What’s Driving Oil Prices?

Oil prices are influenced by supply and demand, and 2020 was a great demonstration of this principle. With global and local shutdowns due to the spread of the coronavirus, there was less demand for products and services. While online shopping was up, foot traffic in stores languished and retailers – both local and nationwide –…

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A Shot for Economic Improvement

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the ongoing distribution of vaccines combined with the latest government stimulus is expected to jumpstart economic activity in the U.S. However, projections for sustainable growth are not equitable among various countries and business sectors. Faster and more effective vaccination deployment across the world is critical.…

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Qualified Business Income Deduction

One of the provisions included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was the Qualified Business Income (QBI) deduction. It is designed as a tax break for small businesses or self-employed individuals and is comparable to the enhanced tax breaks legislated for larger companies. However, while the corporate tax changes are made permanent,…

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Annuity Insights

The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) – a trade association for the retirement income industry – advocates annuities as a vehicle that can help provide retirees income, guaranteed by the insurer. The organization has been actively educating and lobbying legislators to expand annuity access as part of employer-sponsored retirement plans.1 Under this scenario, whatever portion the…

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Tax Pitfalls

Millions of Americans took advantage of the delayed tax-filing deadline in 2020. In fact, according to one survey, 11% of taxpayers filed their 2019 returns after the July 15 extension, and 3% still hadn’t filed as of last December. The primary reason most taxpayers file late isn’t due to procrastination, but rather because they owe…

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The Power of American Workers

First unveiled while President Joe Biden was still on the campaign trail, his “Build Back Better” infrastructure plan aims to help tackle unemployment and climate change. The plan calls for $2 trillion in spending over four years with investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, innovation, research and development, and clean energy, as well as training for displaced…

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