Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Good News Bad News

We are enjoying the greatest economy here in the Puget Sound area. However inadequate transportation planning could cut it short. There are other dark clouds on the horizon as well.

Jon Talton recently outlined a number of macroeconomic concerns in his January 30 article for the Seattle Times. China and other emerging economies dependent on Chinese investment have been struggling; oil and commodities prices have been collapsing; tech stocks may be overvalued; and there is trouble in the manufacturing sector, often a precursor to economic downturn.

The NY Times reported recently that American businesses are hoarding $1.9 trillion as a hedge against future economic turmoil.

While our tech industry has buoyed our local economy, other markets dependent on housing or manufacturing have been left behind in an uneven economic recovery. But there are several other concerns in Seattle's economy. Venture capital that fuels local tech start-ups actually declined in the fourth quarter of 2015. Boeing's employment numbers have dropped in 2015 to 79,238 employees versus more than 86,000 in 2013. Seattle risks overbuilding in its hot commercial market. Global economic slowdown has already impacted rail traffic dependent on coal and oil, and could also have significant impact on the new ports alliance between Seattle and Tacoma.

Chris Mefford, president of the research group Community Attributes, expects the metro Seattle economy to grow in 2016, albeit slower than in the past. Robert Kiyosaki has predicted a big crash in the national economy in 2016. Jason Dimond of JP Morgan Chase dismisses this possibility. The Federal Reserve puts it at a ten percent possibility; while Citigroup puts the chances at 65%.

What are you doing as an investor to prepare yourself?

Happy Investing!

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