According to the latest Kiplinger Letter (a personal finance publication for executives and investors), America’s overall economy is in a comfortable situation. It’s important to note that this is the perspective of investors looking at the economy from a national standpoint and not on a regional or industry specific level. Here are some fast facts:


  • Rumors persist of an oncoming recession. 95% of investors don’t see this in the foreseeable future.
  • Energy firms won’t see much recovery in oil prices.
  • Exporters are still slammed by the strong dollar which don’t expect to weaken until 2017.
  • Consumer spending, which accounts for 2/3 of economic activity, is up 4% over this time last year.
    • Spending on travel, dining out and other leisure activities are strong. Apparel continues to fall.
  • Business spending is also up 4% over this time last year.
    • Firms will continue spending money on tech and vehicle fleets, but not much on building inventories.


  • Housing & health care services are sure to be bright spots for 2016. Both will help propel job and wage growth.
  • Tech, leisure and hospitality will remain a source of jobs.
  • Business formation is on the rise – largest numbers of start-ups are in health care, professional services and tech.


Real Estate:

  • Healthy job gains in recent months are benefiting apartment rentals. Strongest rental activity is in smaller and midsize markets.
  • Rents will climb 4% this year vs 4.6% last year.
  • 30 year mortgage rate will be 4.3% by year end. It’s 3.8% now.


Financial Services:

  • New rules to provide more transparency in lending to small business are coming.
  • These rules will help regulators enforce fair lending laws and make it easier to assess whether lending patterns are equitable and not discriminatory.


Retail Trends:

  • Overall, comfort is in and continue to be in for spring into fall 2016.
  • Women: Looks from 70’s & 90’s will merge and be popular. Suede skirts, fringe, chokers, button-front skirts and crop tops.
  • Men: Crumpled suits and wrinkled shirts, bomber jackets – plus monochromatic dressing from head to toe.


Tech Trends:

  • More billion-dollar tech start-ups will consider going public this year. The low interest environment has made it cheaper for those firms to borrow from hedge funds and private trusts.
  • Services that help firms control workers’ social feeds will get more popular.



  • Employers will be required to file W-2 forms with the IRS by 1/31/2017. They currently have till the last day in February or March 31st if they’re filing electronically.
  • Also, W-2’s will include only the last four digits of SS numbers for security reasons.
  • Congress approved both these laws in recently passed tax legislation.


If you have any questions or concerns – please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (315) 258-8780.