Here’s hoping that 2016 brings back an economy that relies more on business fundamentals, and less on the machinations of technocrats in Washington. With the drama of the first Fed rate hike behind us, perhaps business leaders and investors can focus on the things that make American companies competitive for the long haul.
Here’s hoping that the new frugality that many American households adopted over the last few years lasts a few years more. Despite the constant drumbeat for more debt-fueled consumer spending, improving household balance sheets are better for America, and will help make Americans more resilient to future adversity.
I know that a stronger dollar and prudent consumers make it harder for businesses to grow profits. But meeting the challenge of global competition in an environment of slowly growing consumer demand might encourage more producers of goods and services to rely on investments in quality and productivity rather than on financial gymnastics. The result will be a business sector more resilient to the next downturn, creating jobs that pay and that last.
So, here’s hoping for a 2016 American economy of more savvy consumers and more competitive companies, and a financial system that serves them both.