Applied Forecasting

May 1996
by Robert C. Brenner, MSEE, MSSM

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Based on what he had learned about how to forecast future trends, John took action to apply his new skill. He collected subjective and empirical data on the nation, the state, and his local area. He wanted to identify business opportunities.

As part of the process, John analyzed social, political, economic, and technical changes that were occurring. The continued corporate downsizing, growth of new high-skill jobs, and significant political and social events were listed. He included the new Congress, NAFTA, GATT, global trade, the Information Superhighway, just-in-time hiring, reduced average pay, increased overtime, and the trend toward hiring temporary workers.

He collected forecasts and future projections from industry experts. No one has a crystal ball on the future, but John considered every expert opinion. He entered the published projections into a spreadsheet. To identify a consensus of opinion from various perspectives, he analyzed the matrix and discovered some fascinating insights.

Annual inflation should remain low for the next two years. Pay raises will also be low. Most new hires will be temporary or part time at low pay. Skilled technicians will be in high demand with correspondingly higher pay. Since most new jobs are service-oriented and low pay, the standard of living of the typical American has declined with the average wage.

John is watching to see if the local, state, and federal governments will soon approve business tax credits for R&D invest…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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