More Pain in the Office Space Sector

I have written extensively about the one large hole in construction that has put a lid on a certain sector of concrete production, and more and more news continues to cause worry about its future: the office space industry. If there is one legacy from the pandemic that may linger for years to come, it is the Work-From-Home/Hybrid Work/Return-to-Office struggle…

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The Other Shoe Drops

In the last half of April, there were a couple of seminal economic events that, taken together, mark an example of proverbial shoes dropping, and for the first time in years, marks a cautionary signal on the economy. The first shoe to drop was when Fed Chairman Jay Powell unexpectedly announced that firmer-than-expected inflation during the first quarter has called…

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The Overlooked Gift to Our Economy

by Pierre G. Villere Just a couple of months ago, I wrote about the outlook for a strong economy for the foreseeable future, and I cited the confluence of events that is apparent around us: Inflation that is falling, the outlook for interest rate cuts later this year, and the robust performance of the stock markets that is bolstering everyone’s 401(k)…

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A Return to Population Growth

One of the key drivers to growth in our economy is sheer population growth, which by its very nature spurs household formations. But so many other corners of our economy benefit from population growth other than just the housing market. These new entrants to our economy have to buy goods and services, put gas in their cars, pursue entertainment options,…

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All Arrows Are Pointing to a Stronger Economy in 2024

There has been a confluence of events and happenings in the past few weeks that, when taken together, portend a much healthier new year in 2024 than anyone could have imagined as recently as just this past fall. First, news about inflation has surprised everyone, as we witnessed a sharp decline in the rate of inflation in just the last…

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Goofy Ideas

I have written in the past about Hans Christian Anderson’s famous folktale from the 1830s, “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” and some recent events prompt me to remind readers about this very instructive lesson in life. The story relates a tale of two swindlers who arrive at the capital city of an emperor who spends lavishly on clothing at the expense…

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Consumer Confidence Contrasts with Economic Growth

As I have written many times in the past, we pay close attention to both the Conference Board’s monthly measure of consumer confidence, as well as a similar measure from the University of Michigan which they characterize as consumer sentiment. Both descriptions are really interchangeable, as they measure how consumers feel about the times, both politically and economically. We publish…

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The Insurance Challenge Is Here

As I travel around the country visiting with clients and making industry presentations, I hear the same from almost every producer about the challenges in their businesses: not enough drivers, fuel costs, and materials cost rising faster than they can pass them on among the most frequent. But there is another shoe about to drop that may impact producers, both…

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