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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According to the recently released 2018 MHI Annual Industry Report, “Overcoming Barriers to NextGen Supply Chain Adoption,” eight out of ten survey respondents believe these supply chains will be the predominant model within just five years. However, the report found that the adoption of some of these technologies was slower than originally reported when MHI started the annual report in 2014. The report cites three top barriers to adoption of these technologies: 1. Making the business case for NextGen supply chain investments. 2. Tackling the supply chain skills gap and workforce shortage. 3. Building trust and security in digital, always-on supply chains. This issue of MHI Solutions focuses on the adoption of these digital solutions, from best practices in robotics and artificial intelligence to blockchain and innovations in last mile delivery.

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