This week I heard Dr. Donald Ratajczak, consulting economist and Regents Professor Emeritus of Economics at Georgia State University, speak about the 2016 economic forecast to a group of CEOs and CFOs at the December Technology Executives Roundtable meeting.
Given everything that’s happening on a national and global front, this was a great event to attend to get a peek into what’s in store for next year. Whether you run your own business or your own marketing department, Dr. Ratajczak’s take on the state of our economy, and its impact on Atlanta and our technology community, gives good insight into how you can strategically plan in 2016.
Here are a few observations:
- Excess inventory: The U.S. continues to struggle here, particularly in the energy and retail markets. Some of this inventory overhang is in oil, while another is in retailer stores themselves. With online purchases up, retailers simply have too many brick-and-mortar stores they don’t need.
- Dollar losing competitiveness: The dollar is too strong, nearing an all-time 20-year peak.
- Gas prices going down: This means household purchasing power is increasing.
- On the hunt for talent: The job market is growing, so competition is increasing to find the best employees. You’ll find more and more companies who are willing to bid employees away from their competitors and invest in training them.
- Government spending: Look for it to increase on both a state and local level.
Here in Atlanta…
- The local Georgia economy is growing in line with the U.S.
- A talent pool is being created in Atlanta, so our challenge will be to keep the talent here.
- Looking to specific markets, the storage and data processing areas are creating jobs, and the engineering and system design areas are growing.
Come the end of 2016, Dr. Ratajczak predicts the U.S. will have absorbed its excess inventory and will be more growth-prone going into 2017.
Tell us what you think 2016 will look like. What economic indicator is most relevant to your business strategic planning process? Do you have a plan in place to make 2016 a profitable year for your company? Leave a comment or send us a note with your 2016 economic predictions.