How to market your construction company for business growth

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Member Article

In the past ten years, there has been a significant change in how individuals purchase goods and services.

97% of shoppers, according to research from Brightlocal, will look for a local business online. A strong construction marketing plan is just as important for the sector as it is for any company.

Marketing a construction company is distinct from marketing any other kind of business. You should think about who your target audience is for construction services and how they might find you online. Also, you should think about managing your online reputation and any particularly specific difficulties your construction company might have.
Obstacles in the construction industry.

Construction faces a particular number of challenges that make it different from other industries. Your success will be greatly impacted by taking into account these issues when you develop your construction marketing plan, as well as the implications of ESG.

For instance, a lack of qualified laborers is one of the biggest problems facing the construction sector globally. In addition to traditional construction techniques, it is challenging to recruit people knowledgeable in modern green building practises. These methods are spreading more widely and are accelerating industrial change.

Local contractors can use LinkedIn’s and other social media networks’ hiring capabilities to identify qualified employees. You can build beneficial contacts with existing customers and other business owners and have access to a big network of employees with the aid of LinkedIn.

These are some of the primary difficulties the construction industry faces:

• Covid-19
• Worker safety
• Slow adoption of technology
• Labour shortage
• Sustainable building
• Gender diversity
• Communication
• Uncontrolled growth

Possible factors for ESG

Environmental, Social, and Governance is referred to as ESG. It acts as a set of benchmarks for assessing the ethical ramifications of making an investment in a company. It’s understandable why there is growing pressure on construction firms to take ESG into account at every stage. 32% of the world’s natural resources are used by the construction industry, while the built environment is responsible for 45% of greenhouse gas emissions.

Your intention to adhere to ESG standards can be demonstrated by including ESG into your construction projects and marketing strategy. A strong ESG-driven approach can also help you by promoting your brand and showing your beliefs.

How to effectively market your construction company

Many modern construction companies place an undue emphasis on outdated marketing strategies like word-of-mouth advertising from current clients. Sadly, a building company that overly depends on conventional techniques risked passing up important chances.
Any construction company that wants to expand their business must take advantage of the growth of digital marketing. Advantages include engagement with a larger audience and access to favourable client testimonials. You can engage your customers across numerous social media platforms if you know where they are and what they’re looking for.

The following are some of the top construction marketing tactics and techniques for 2023:

Keep your website updated
Websites are frequently the first-place prospective customers look to learn more about your business. In fact, 97% of prospective buyers research a company online before choosing to make a purchase.

By creating a user-friendly website, you can increase web traffic, showcase your brand and keep valuable information up-to-date. As a matter of fact, if you don’t have a website, customers are 62% less likely to trust you.

Maximise your social media marketing efforts
Social media is one of the top methods to help your business stand out, but many construction businesses avoid it. Social media is used by a remarkable 4.62 billion individuals worldwide. This is a vast list of possible customers.

You may reach a far larger audience if you have a strong social media strategy. Consistent posting on the social media channels where your target audience is active will help you humanise your business and raise awareness of it.

Additionally, it will assist you in generating fresh leads and strengthening connections with clients and decision-makers.

Social media marketing will also give you helpful information that can produce a significant return on investment. You will be able to maximise the effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts and activities with the aid of social media analytics. You can use it to clarify your target market and produce future content that is more optimised.
Identify your target market

Numerous building companies choose not to specify a certain target market in order to appeal to a larger clientele. But identifying your target market can help you focus your construction marketing efforts and provide more qualified leads. Also, it enables you to use your resources more effectively and make better decisions.

**
Define your brand**
What do Apple, Netflix, Nike, and McDonald’s all have in common? Their branding and logo designs make them all simple to identify. Strong branding achieves this. It makes your construction company more memorable in the eyes of your intended market. Also, it can help establish your credibility and help you stand out from the competition.

Moreover, branding consistency can have a significant impact on your revenue. According to a survey by Lucidpress, brand consistency across channels can boost sales by 10% to 20%. Hence, by concentrating on branding, construction companies may develop a solid reputation that will help them increase sales and foster growth.

Employ a content marketing strategy
One of the most effective methods to have an impact on your organisation is to include relevant content creation in your overall marketing strategy. The advantages of content marketing are numerous. It can help you provide answers to your audience’s inquiries, generate leads, connect with new clients, position yourself as an authority, and expand your clientele.

You could also get more search traffic as a result of this. You can increase your online search presence by launching a construction blog, for instance, using relevant keywords and publishing frequently about construction-related topics. Furthermore, you can produce more high-quality leads if you consistently blog on the subjects that appeal to your target market.

There are many formats of useful content, including:
• Video content
• Landing pages
• Email campaigns
• Blog posts
• Ebooks
• Case studies
• Guides

Utilise paid advertising
Paid advertising is used in some of the strongest and most effective of marketing campaigns and strategies. There are many platforms available for digital ads, including Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, LinkedIn Ads, and more.

Paid adverts not only enable you to reach your clients in a highly focused approach, but it can also raise awareness of your business. As well, it might give you a fantastic approach to promote specialised building services to a certain market. Around 65% of traffic could be diverted to your firm by a marketing team that includes sponsored advertisements in their marketing budget.

Establish a Google Business profile
Google Business is incredibly important for construction marketing. Claiming your online profile allows you to take control of your online reputation across a vast network. With maps, reviews, contact information and local search engine results, you can control how potential clients see you while boosting local SEO In fact, creating a Google business listing, and adding your business to other directors, could increase your customer base by 86%.

Google Business is crucial for marketing in the construction industry. You may manage your online reputation across a large network by claiming your online profile. You can influence how potential customers perceive you while enhancing local SEO using maps, reviews, contact information, and local search engine results pages. In fact, linking your company to additional directories and generating a Google Business listing might boost your audience by 86%.

This was posted in Bdaily’s Members’ News section
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Lis Anderson
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7 Ways Collaboration Can Create a Successful Team

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Collaboration is a powerful tool that has become increasingly essential in the modern business world. Working together with others can help drive growth, innovation and success. In this article, we will explore the importance of collaboration in today’s competitive environment and provide some tips for how businesses can use it to achieve their goals.

At its core, collaboration is defined as working together towards a common goal. When people collaborate, they bring different skill sets and perspectives to the table, which creates synergy. This allows individuals and teams to tap into new opportunities while remaining agile enough to respond quickly when necessary.

Collaboration can bring numerous benefits to businesses. Working together can help to drive innovation and creative problem-solving, as well as foster an atmosphere of open communication and trust. Additionally, it allows companies to take advantage of collective resources while avoiding duplication of efforts, saving time and money in the long run.

If you’re looking to start collaborating with others, here are a few tips that may help.

  1. Identify your goals – Take some time to sit down and clearly define what you want to achieve by collaborating with others.
  2. Find the right partners – It’s essential to find people who share your values and goals, as this will create a strong foundation for successful collaboration.
  3. Set expectations – Establishing ground rules and expectations upfront can help ensure that everyone is on the same page from the start.
  4. Have patience – Building trust and a strong working relationship with others takes time, so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t happen overnight!

Related: 10 Simple Ways to Build a Collaborative, Successful Work Environment

Collaboration is a powerful force that drives success in many ways.

When we collaborate, we work towards a shared vision, where everyone involved has a stake in the project’s success. Collaboration brings together a greater pool of resources, including skills, knowledge, and experience and reduces the burden on any one person or organization.

How to collaborate effectively

Collaboration is not always easy, and it requires effort and commitment from everyone involved. Here are some tips on how to collaborate effectively:

  • Set clear goals: Before beginning any collaboration, it’s important to establish clear goals and objectives for the project.
  • Communication: Effective communication is critical to successful collaboration. Ensure that everyone involved is clear on their roles and responsibilities, and encourage open and honest communication throughout the process.
  • Trust and Respect: Collaboration requires trust and respect between all parties. Ensure that everyone involved feels valued and that their contributions are appreciated.
  • Flexibility: Collaboration requires flexibility and a willingness to compromise. Be open to new ideas and approaches, and be willing to adapt as the project evolves.

Related: The Best Leaders Follow These 13 Rules of Cross-Functional Collaboration

How collaboration can promote personal growth

Collaboration not only leads to greater success but also personal growth. Collaborating with others requires self-awareness, strong interpersonal skills, and the ability to learn from others. It also requires resilience and adaptability as we learn to navigate different personalities and approaches.

Successful teamwork and collaboration require a combination of skills that complement each other and create a positive and productive environment. Here are seven essential qualities necessary for successful teamwork and collaboration:

  1. Communication: Clear and effective communication is the foundation of successful teamwork. It helps to ensure that everyone understands the goals, objectives and expectations and facilitates the sharing of ideas and feedback.
  2. Time management: Time management is crucial for successful teamwork. It involves prioritizing tasks, creating schedules, and adhering to deadlines, which ensures that everyone is on the same page and that tasks are completed efficiently.
  3. Problem-solving: Teams encounter problems and challenges that require creative problem-solving skills. Members must be able to work collaboratively, brainstorm ideas, and develop solutions that benefit everyone.
  4. Listening: Active listening is a crucial skill in any team. It helps members understand each other’s perspectives, needs, and ideas, ultimately leading to better decision-making and improved results.
  5. Critical thinking: Critical thinking skills are necessary for analyzing information, evaluating options, and making sound decisions. It helps team members to approach problems and challenges systematically and logically.
  6. Collaboration: Collaboration involves working together, sharing knowledge, and supporting each other to achieve common goals. It creates a positive and productive environment where team members can learn from each other and build trust and respect.
  7. Leadership: Leadership skills are essential for successful teamwork. Influential leaders can inspire and motivate their team members, provide guidance and support, and ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal.

Conclusion

Collaboration has become an essential part of many businesses, allowing them to leverage collective resources and achieve greater success than they could on their own. By understanding the power of collaboration, businesses can use it to drive growth and help achieve their goals.

So why not give it a try? Remember to identify your goals, find the right partners, set expectations, and have patience. With effective collaboration, you can achieve success and personal growth.

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I Banned My Kid From Social Media & I Regret Nothing

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I came home one day in 8th grade to find giant red letters across the side of my house: SLUT.

I vividly remember the feeling of humiliation as I stood there paralyzed, cheeks red, my heart hammering. I felt like I was going to be sick. I scraped the sticky, red tape off the pale yellow texture, holding back tears and swallowing the burning in my throat, my face so close to the bumpy wall it blurred in front of my eyes.

Being bullied was awful enough in the nineties; I count this among my top five worst experiences growing up. But handing middle school children cell phones and social media access has introduced a whole new terrifying dimension. When it came time to decide about social media for my own kids, I didn’t only consider the potential for depression, anxiety, and social comparison. I imagined my degrading experience with the added humiliation of a public shaming that could be streamed and shared. And so I banned social media entirely.

My oldest daughter, Addison, got her first phone at age twelve, but no social media. The current average age for opening a social media account is 12.6 years. Even five years ago, Addison was in the minority among her peers, and so was I as her parent. The older she got, the more she stuck out.

She came home from her part-time job one day during sophomore year, exasperated: “I just walked by some cute guys, and one asked for my Snapchat. I told him I didn’t have social media. Before I could give him my number, he said, ‘You could’ve just told me you’re not interested.’” A teen without social media seems unbelievable.

Still, I firmly believe in my reasons for keeping her offline. Coverage of studies about social media’s impact on teens often highlight the caveat that it can be positive if used appropriately. But frankly, I’ve never met anyone who uses social media in the healthy way these studies praise. The best I’ve heard is I learned to use it responsibly or I set limits for myself. And that’s adults with fully developed brains. We talk about social media like we talk about addiction—for good reason. As Edward Tufte says in The Social Dilemma: “There are only two industries that call their customers ‘users’: illegal drugs and software.”

There is real, hard data about the negative impact of social media on kids, especially teenaged girls. But teens themselves disagree: Despite findings about depression, anxiety, social comparison, eating disorders, bullying, self-harm, and suicidal ideation, only a third of teens think social media negatively affects people. Even fewer (9 percent) believe this applies to them. My daughter was fairly self-aware about it: “We all want to believe we’re the exception and think we can handle social media better than others,” she told me with a shrug.

And still, when she felt excluded from her friend group because nobody texts or calls anyone anymore, mom,” I felt guilty. Once she started high school and later during COVID lockdowns, she felt isolated from her friends, and I felt responsible.

Maybe I’d just projected my own bullying experience onto her, scared that whatever might happen would live on the internet forever. Teens experiencing cyberbullying are four times more likely to have suicidal thoughts or attempt suicide. Some tragically succeed, like 14-year-old Adriana Kuch, whose in-school assault was filmed and shared on TikTok.

And yet, even experts like Max Stossel, CEO of Social Awakening, an advocacy organization for healthy social media use, believe saying no is just too hard for parents: “Research shows that 10-14-year-old girls are hit hardest […] I would wait until 15,16, but that has just seemed less and less realistic for a lot of parents’ lives and kids’ lives.” Why isn’t it realistic? Are we resigned to social media rewiring our kids’ brains, and exposing them to constant peer pressure, instead of saying no like we say no to underage drinking?

Ultimately, despite all my reservations, I finally let my daughter have Snapchat and Instagram at age 17. I knew that if I didn’t, Addison would sign up for all the platforms the minute she turned 18, which made me worry that I’d set her up for a social media binge. Instead, I wanted to be available to offer support and oversight while she’s trying social media for the first time. I want her to be home with me, not alone in a dorm room. It was an argument Addison made repeatedly, and it stuck with me. She was right.

I will say that right after Addison signed up, I noticed an increase in phone pick-ups, with incessant notifications interrupting our conversations. But once I pointed that out, she focused on prioritizing in-person interactions over digital conversations. In the three months since, she’s maintained her GPA, work schedule, extracurriculars, and social activities. She takes a million more selfies now, but I don’t see the negative emotional or mental impacts I feared when she was younger.

I was impressed with Addison’s maturity when she agreed that waiting so long was the right call: “I don’t think I could have handled social media as a 14-year-old. I was much more insecure then, had fewer friends, and tried way harder to fit in. Not getting enough likes on posts would’ve messed with my self-esteem. Now I use it mostly to connect with my real-life friends and don’t give strangers access to my private profiles.”

Being in the minority when making a significant parenting decision sucks, but it’s worth it. I’m glad I waited. And as it turns out, so is my daughter.

Juliane Bergmann was born and raised by a German hippie mom and US Army soldier dad in a tiny village in Bavaria. She now lives in Montana with her blended family of eight and writes about psychology, recovery, parenting, and relationships. As a book coach and ghostwriter, she’s guided nine first-time authors through the book creation process. Come hang out on her internet porch here: https://julianebergmann.ghost.io/

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Net business growth in EBR is up despite fewer additions: here’s why

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The number of businesses opening across East Baton Rouge Parish has trended down since 2010, but net business growth is up thanks to fewer businesses closing their doors, according to the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. 


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Barclays Eagle Labs launches two-year programme of business support, to drive growth across the UK tech sector

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  • Applications are now open for the first Digital Growth Grant programmes – a two-year package of support for UK tech businesses, powered by Barclays Eagle Labs and funded by Government
  • The programmes aim to address some of the key challenges facing the UK tech sector such as, widening regional and local growth opportunities, supporting specialist sectors such as health and agri-tech and driving growth for scaleups
  • An Independent Advisory Board, made up of tech and business ecosystem experts, will advise on project direction, act as a voice of the community and share best practices, to maximise the impact of the funding
  • A wider package with access to expert mentoring and an online learning platform will also support across all of the programmes to enable business growth and development

Today, Barclays Eagle Labs has officially launched its two-year programme of support for tech businesses, funded by the Government’s Digital Growth Grant1, to tackle some of the key issues businesses face and drive regional growth in the UK tech sector.

The package of support, which will be delivered in addition to Eagle Labs’ existing activity, includes a series of business growth programmes, in partnership with best-in-class industry experts, as well as access to mentoring and educational resources. Combined with Eagle Labs’ existing activity, the Digital Growth Grant has an ambition to support up to 22,000 businesses over the next two-years enabling growth across the UK tech sector.2

Applications are now open for the first series of programmes3 which include:

  • Ecosystem Partnership Programme – Enabling organisations outside of London, to apply for funding and deliver their own programmes that best support the challenges they are facing in their local area – whether that’s support for local technology businesses, mentoring for accelerators within that region or bringing together the best in class for a regional industry event. This programme will help deliver on a wider ambition that 80 per cent of businesses across the Digital Growth Grant and existing Eagle Labs activity are outside of London.
  • Scaleup Programmes – in collaboration with Cambridge Judge Business School: business leadership teams will receive tailored coaching and access to scaleup-specific learning, to help address their bespoke challenges and achieve their potential. Later in the year, Eagle Labs will deliver an additional six-month scaleup programme working to support companies with a focus on solving some of society’s challenges, in partnership with Plexal.
  • HealthTech and AgriTech Industry Bridge Programmes – in partnership with Codebase: a twelve-month programme connecting corporates to startups and scaleups. These programmes will enable startups and scaleups to forge connections with some of the UK’s biggest firms and relevant peers working within their chosen industry, with the potential to share experience, drive collaboration and foster further growth.
  • Funding Readiness Programme – in partnership with Capital Enterprise: An additional cohort of Eagle Labs’ virtual three-month programme of webinars, workshops and networking events, to educate founders on funding and to provide them with the skills and knowledge they need to attract investment and fund their business growth.

Later this year, a new programme will launch to support the growth of black-founded tech businesses who are at, or are about to enter, their scaleup stage. Continued support for existing growth programmes also include the Female Founder Accelerator Programme. Both these programmes support an overall ambition to ensure at least 35 per cent of supported founders come from diverse backgrounds in terms of gender, sexuality and ethnicity.

Aside from supporting entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds, a new programme also aims to help with the very early stages of the startup life cycle. Due to roll out later this year, a new programme known as Product Builder and also in partnership with Plexal will support entrepreneurs in bringing their idea to life – to create and deliver a minimum viable product.

To ensure the programmes deliver impactful business outcomes for those involved, they will have the oversight of an Independent Advisory Board, made up of leaders who represent the diversity and regionality of the UK tech ecosystem4. The Board will offer advice on programme direction, act as a voice of the tech community, share best practices and promote the programme’s services.

Hannah Bernard, Head of Business Banking, Barclays said: “We are delighted to continue to play a role in driving growth within the UK tech sector by helping startups, scaleups and entrepreneurs build successful businesses. The Digital Growth Grant will make our support accessible to even more businesses up and down the country and enable us to provide tailored growth programmes, first-class business mentoring and access to even more resources to drive further growth.

“By leveraging the depth and breadth of our wider banking connections, supporting our communities and enabling entrepreneurs to develop the skills and confidence they need to succeed, we are helping all businesses to grow. This is the ethos that has been driving Barclays Eagle Labs since its inception in 2015 and drives every single colleague in our broader Business Banking team.”

Paul Scully, Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy, said: “We want to give UK tech businesses the best start so their innovation can drive growth and investment across the country. Through the government-funded Digital Growth Grant, Eagle Labs will offer support and opportunities to help tens of thousands of startups and scaleups unlock their full potential. This is central to our plans to make the UK a tech and science superpower.”

Launching later this year, the grant will also fund the creation of the Knowledge Hub – an online platform with educational tools and modules designed to help founders run and grow their business. This will be accompanied by a series of monthly in-depth insight reports, in partnership with Beauhurst on a range of topics and industries, to educate founders and inspire the next generation of UK entrepreneurs.

To find out more about Eagle Labs partners, the Digital Growth Grant and to register for open programmes visit: labs.uk.barclays/digital-growth-grant/

ENDS

Notes to Editors

1 Eagle Labs the Digital Growth Grant to tackle the challenges that small and scaling tech businesses across the UK face and support and foster their growth.
2 The figure referring to an ambition to support 22,000 businesses, is based on programme take up estimates across the following key areas or programmes, over a two-year period: growth programmes, connectivity services including mentoring, learning experiences and ecosystem support including the Ecosystem Partnership Programme.
3 There is no pre-requisite to have any kind of commercial relationship with Barclays in order to access programmes or receive support funded through the Digital Growth Grant. Additionally, Eagle Labs does not require any equity in businesses receiving support. Eagle Labs will use 100% of the Grant to support the UK tech ecosystem, through programme delivery.
4 Members of the Digital Growth Grant Independent Advisory Board:

  • Chris Elphick, Senior VC Manager, British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association
  • Dr Phil Clare, CEO, Queen Mary Innovation
  • Katie Gallagher, Managing Director, Manchester Digital
  • Alisdair Gunn, Project Director of Glasgow City Innovation District
  • Louise Harris, Co- founder and Director Tramshed
  • Ian Browne, Managing Director, Dog Patch Labs
  • Roei Samuel, CEO of Connectd
  • Julie Grieve, Recently Exited Travel Tech Founder
  • Steven Roberts, Chief Scientific Adviser, Barclays
  • Charles Ebubedike, CEO, Clinova
  • Vishal Chatrath, CEO, QuantrolOx

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How can today’s millennial investors drive tomorrow’s business growth?

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In short, Millennials emerge from the research as one of the most complex, important and demanding groups of clients for wealth managers to understand and serve.

On the upside, Millennials’ need for high quality advice and support over a period of decades presents a huge potential opportunity for wealth managers able to meet their requirements. Set against that, firms are likely to find it increasingly hard to reconcile Millennials’ desire for more and more specialized advice with their tendency to spread assets between providers and their price sensitivity. For example, this cohort is more concerned (66%) than the average client (54%) about hidden costs.

Furthermore, the research shows that long-term success with this group of clients will depend on wealth managers’ ability to build a sophisticated picture of individual investors’ mindsets and behavioral traits.

A closer look at Millennials’ investing behaviors shows that this generation demonstrates a heightened level of sensitivity, coupled with a marked lack of predictability. Millennials appear to react strongly – and inconsistently – to volatility. No fewer than 50% of this generation (compared to 34% of all clients) reacted to recent market shocks by moving capital into savings and deposits. However, volatility also prompted 47% of Millennials to increase their allocations to actively managed investments (compared to 34% of all clients).

This suggests that wealth managers have a crucial role to play in providing younger investors with a steadying hand. Firms not only need to offer advice and guidance, but to actively educate Millennials on topics like goal-setting, risk appetite and diversification.

Fostering investment behaviors that optimize long-term outcomes will be essential, too. This might involve encouraging positive traits – such as the willingness to embrace new products – while tempering less productive impulses like overreacting to market corrections.

The good news for wealth managers is that Millennials are more open than other cohorts to sharing their transactional data, social media profiles and even GPS locations with providers in exchange for greater personalization. Despite their comfort with digital channels, Millennials also value the ability to discuss matters with an advisor – whether virtually or in person.

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US economy grew at weak 1.1% rate in first quarter in sign of slowdown

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy slowed sharply from January through March, decelerating to just a 1.1% annual pace as higher interest rates hammered the housing market and businesses reduced their inventories.

Thursday’s estimate from the Commerce Department showed that the nation’s gross domestic product — the broadest gauge of economic output — weakened after growing 3.2% from July through September and 2.6% from October through December.

But consumer spending, which accounts for about 70% of U.S. economic activity, remained resilient, growing at a 3.7% annual pace, the fastest such rate in nearly two years. Spending on goods, in particular, was solid: It rose at its fastest pace since the second quarter of 2021.

Economists had been expecting overall GDP to grow at a 1.9% pace in the January-March quarter. Behind much of the quarter’s weakness was a sharp reduction in business inventories, which subtracted roughly 2.3 percentage points from overall growth. Companies typically slash their inventories when they anticipate a coming downturn.

The economy’s slowdown reflects the impact of the Federal Reserve’s aggressive drive to tame inflation, with nine interest rate hikes over the past year. The surge in borrowing costs is expected to send the economy into a recession sometime this year. Though inflation has steadily eased from the four-decade high it reached last year, it remains far above the Fed’s 2% target.

The housing market, which is especially vulnerable to higher loan rates, has been battered. And many banks have tightened their lending standards since the failure last month of two major U.S. banks, making it even harder to borrow to buy a house or a car or to expand a business.

House Republicans are trying to push Biden into negotiations on federal spending. (CNN, POOL, CRFB.ORG, HOUSE TV, THE WHITE HOUSE, YOUNG AMERICA’S FOUNDATION)

“The economy had less forward momentum at the start of this year than previously thought,” Andrew Hunter of Capital Economics wrote in a research note. “We continue to expect the drag from higher interest rates and tightening credit conditions to push the economy into a mild recession soon.″

Many economists say the cumulative impact of the Fed’s rate hikes has yet to be fully felt. Still, the central bank’s policymakers are aiming for a so-called soft landing: Cooling growth enough to curb inflation yet not so much as to send the world’s largest economy tumbling into a recession.

There is widespread skepticism that the Fed will succeed. An economic model used by the Conference Board, a business research group, puts the probability of a U.S. recession over the next year at 99%.

The Conference Board’s recession-probability gauge had hung around zero from September 2020, as the economy rebounded explosively from the COVID-19 recession, until March 2022, when the Fed started raising rates to fight inflation.

Retail sales had enjoyed a strong start in January, aided by warmer-than-expected weather and bigger Social Security checks. But in February and again in March, retail sales tumbled, suggesting that consumers were tiring as the first quarter of the year came to an end.

Even so, some economists were impressed that spending has held up as well as it has even after nine Fed rate hikes have led to higher costs for loans ranging from mortgages and auto purchases to credit cards and corporate borrowing.

“The focus is on the weak top-line (GDP) number, but the economy remains resilient,’’ said Robert Frick, an economist at Navy Federal Credit Union. “Businesses have underestimated both consumer buying and business buying.”

The worst fears of a 2008-style financial crisis have eased over the past month. But lingering credit cutbacks, which were mentioned in the Fed’s survey this month of regional economies, is likely to hobble growth.

Political risks are growing, too. Congressional Republicans are threatening to let the federal government default on its debts, by refusing to raise the statutory limit on what it can borrow, if Democrats and President Joe Biden fail to agree to spending restrictions and cuts. A first-ever default on the federal debt would shatter the market for U.S. Treasurys — the world’s biggest — and possibly cause a global financial crisis.

The global backdrop is also looking bleaker. The International Monetary Fund this month downgraded its forecast for worldwide economic growth, citing rising interest rates around the world, financial uncertainty and chronic inflation. American exporters could suffer as a consequence.

Still, the U.S. economy has surprised before. Recession fears rose early last year after GDP had shrunk for two straight quarters. But the economy roared back in the second half of 2022, powered by surprisingly sturdy consumer spending.

A strong job market has given Americans the confidence and financial wherewithal to keep shopping: 2021 and 2022 were the two best years for job creation on record. And hiring has remained strong so far this year, though it has decelerated from January to February and then to March.

The jobs report for April, which the government will issue on May 5, is expected to show that employers added a decent but still-lower total of 185,000 jobs this month, according to a survey of forecasters by FactSet.

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