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An Economy Update for a Virus-Driven World

Market Updates
Piggy bank wearing a mask on a blue background.

We always want to provide you with guidance about the economic world around us and what it means for you, your business, and your loved ones.

This month we feature a report from one of our favorite economists, Dr. Bruce Yandle, and some insights from our team on what we see currently and in the weeks ahead. 

Dr. Yandle’s paper highlights many interesting items, including outlook for oil in this environment, government influence on the economy in new and unprecedented ways, and GDP growth prospects. We encourage you to read through it. 

Our views on broad economic topics and our conversations with clients are summarized below. We would love to talk with you about these or any questions you have!

The economic issues are obvious and touch almost every person and business in some way. We expect some parts of these effects to remain with us throughout 2020 – re-openings in fits and starts, businesses’ revenue models challenged, bankruptcy filings, school closings or alternate learning methods, etc.

Current metrics around employment and consumer confidence seem to indicate some recovery sooner than we initially expected (an example is 4.8 million jobs gained in June and unemployment decreasing to 11.1%). However, virus infections are rising at record levels nationwide and we haven’t yet settled into a sustainable model of reopening businesses and lowering infections. This will cause continued economic bumps.

On top of all this, it will soon be election season! No predictions here, other than a lot of jostling, some policy-making that is designed to appeal to voters, and some nasty fighting over highly charged topics. It seems clear that there are outcomes which will be more business-friendly than others, but navigating the virus-related economy will be foremost, even in an election year.

The Federal Reserve has signaled that its key interest rate will stay at 0% through 2022. This means that borrowing costs are likely to stay very low, though deposit interest rates will unfortunately follow suit. Mortgage rates can fluctuate outside of the Fed’s direction, but the current market has mortgage rates at historic lows, with many falling between 2.5-3%. It’s a great time to borrow for things that make strategic sense for your business or personally.

We are all managing through a crisis together and that generally means a short-term focus on how to make it from one day to the next. However, we are advising clients to take any chance they can to think long-term.

We think these three questions are worthwhile to consider:

    1. What are the decisions that you will not regret 1 year from now no matter what happens around you? Make those.
    2. What are the things you wish you could/would have done 12 months ago that are now possible because of the current issues? Do those.
    3. What are the opportunities that are being given to you because of disruption in your industry, others going out of business, or talent that has become available? Consider taking advantage of those.

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