MHI Solutions

Economic Market Update

ECONOMIC MARKET ANALYSIS: 2018 Economic Outlook

2018 Economic Outlook: Growth Expectations and Policy Risks

By Jason Schenker, CMT®, CFP®, ERP®, CVA®, Prestige Economics, LLC—

There are many reasons to be optimistic about growth in the year ahead. Data in the latter half of 2017 were generally positive, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised its global growth forecasts, and leading indicators—like global purchasing manager indices—were indicative of future growth. There is only one major downside risk, and it’s a big one: U.S. fiscal policy disappointment. If markets and businesses believe enough groundwork has been laid by fiscal policy to ensure strong growth, then the economy could see upside surprises in 2018. However, expectations have been very high since the presidential election in 2016. This means that the big question for business investment and equipment sales in the year ahead is: Will the state of fiscal policy be met with satisfaction—or disappointment?

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Emerging technologies such as IIoT, robotics and artificial intelligence provide exciting opportunities for supply chains. They also mean an exponential growth in the amount of data these supply chains generate. When properly utilized, this data can provide crucial information to improve efficiency, reduce costs, enhance transparency and customer service. But it comes with risk. The more digitized a supply chain becomes, the more it is at risk of cyberattack. Hackers are constantly finding new ways create data breaches they can exploit. The reality that most supply chains require third-party suppliers down the chain only heightens this threat. No matter the scale of your supply chain, it is essential to have solid cybersecurity processes in place to manage and mitigate the growing risk of cyberattack. That’s what this issue of MHI Solutions is all about, from cybersecurity threats in an IIoT world to dark data to the human factor in cybersecurity to blockchain as a potential solution.

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