Tuesday, June 06, 2017

We Are In a Depression

Factory orders are below the 2007 peak. Although manufacturing jobs disappear as the sector turns into agriculture (making stuff like electronics components is like farming now, anyone can build a factory with enough capital, just as anyone can plant wheat with enough land), manufacturing output rose steadily over time. The U.S. is no longer making more stuff, and made less stuff in 2016 than it made in 2007. This is not from outsourcing, if anything the trend to outsourcing started reversing due to high oil prices and then cheaper U.S. energy.
The 12-year expected return for the S&P 500 Index is below its dividend yield. Stocks are expected to be lower in 2029 than they are today.
Finally, based on labor force, productivity and investment trends, GDP growth is projected to be less than 1% per year for the next decade.

Doing the things the United States needs to do (reducing immigration, balancing trade) will make the economy worse, not better, in terms of nominal GDP. Things will improve for the average worker as wages rise, but corporate profits will fall, stocks will decline and over-leveraged companies betting on faster GDP growth will go bust.

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