Hey Strategic Planner, What Are Your Projections For The 2016 U.S. Economy?

By | November 13, 2015

SummaryWhether real estate, mortgages, law or anything else…For large corporations, small businesses or sole proprietorships, now is the time to start making our best guesses, plans and projections for 2016.

What will the state and condition of the U.S. economy be in 2016?

For a business owner, department head in a company or the leader of a far-flung global corporation, projections concerning the overall strength of the U.S. economy in 2016 is likely the cause for discussion as plans and budgets are beginning to be set.

As always, there are any number of unknowns and variables to consider and we then do our best to try and decipher and weigh them all.

We do this to come up with what will ultimately be our best educated guess for the strength of our industry, our specific sector within that industry and of course the economy as a whole. And I use the word guess because at the end of the day, that is really all that it is.

What are some of those unknowns and variables that may or may not be keeping us up at night?

  • Will the Fed raise rates, when will the Fed raise rates, how much will the Fed raise rates and over what period of time?
  • What potential impact would any given rate hike have on the U.S. economy, foreign economies in non-emerging markets and of course on emerging markets?
  • What impact would any rate hike have on the stock market and, using stocks as a proxy for wealth, what do we project that the impact on consumer confidence might be?
  • Are there any government regulations on the horizon, known or anticipated, that could positively or negatively impact my industry and business?
  • Heading into a presidential election, what will the impact be of the probable greater gridlock in Washington be on my business and industry?
  • Is my industry an easy political target, potential political beneficiary or a talking point for candidates and, if so, who do we see actually winning the presidential election and the impact of that outcome?
  • While many people don’t look at geopolitics, with all of the angst across the world do any have the potential to directly impact my business either positively or negatively?
  • Within our industry what is the projection for growth and demand for our specific product line?
  • Given any of the above do we need to diversify into other synergistic or possibly new product lines?
  • What type of marketing is working for us and how do we adjust our mix in 2016? Should our focus be on internet marketing, television, print, radio or somewhere else?
  • Do we need any technological upgrades in our business?
  • Given the projections we make based on all of the above, along with other metrics one may use, should we be aggressively taking on debt and expenses, paring back our exposure or staying the same?
  • Should we be increasing staff, reducing staff or staying the same?

The Strategic Plan

There are so many variables to think about that sometimes sensory overload results in some thinking about nothing while others think about everything.

Of course some issues are outside of our control so that the process of thinking or worrying about them will cause a great deal of anxiety and potential inertia when in actuality they should be on the back burner.

So what do you do as a strategic planner? Do you think about any of these issues or maybe some other ones?

Please leave any thoughts and ideas in the the comments section below.

Michael Haltman is President of Hallmark Abstract Service in New York. He can be reached at mhaltman@hallmarkabstractllc.com.

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