A well known business guru says that, whether it's good or bad, be alert to the unexpected. That's often the first sign of a new trend.
Consider how IBM let upstart Apple, Inc. and others get a big jump on personal computers. In 1975 IBM commissioned a study on the personal computer business and learned that there was little demand. Even so, IBM did decide later to offer personal computers and managed to capture 50% of the market. But the business giant failed to build on this unexpected success in an emerging trend, and continued focusing on mainframes. Apple had made an equally large name for itself, and had completely captured the perception of "cool and new."
Is there an emerging economic trend in its early stages today?
It appears so, and this trend is far bigger. Call it a seismic shift in the entire U.S. economy.
Consider that the financial crisis ended in 2009. One might expect the economy to have gained traction by now. Instead, financial authorities are baffled that trillions in stimulus and persistently low interest rates have barely kept the economy running in place. In many respects the economy is still falling behind.
Consider these recent news items:
Black Friday-style deals as PC sales plunge
Big price cuts as PC industry scrambles to rebound
Marketwatch, April 15
Producer prices post biggest drop in 10 months
Reuters, April 12
Retails sales fall again
Chicago Tribune, April 12
Consumer Sentiment Tumbles, More Unemployment Expected
Reuters, April 12
Starbucks lowers prices on bagged coffee at grocers
The Seattle Times, April 12
American Dream Eludes With Student Debt Burden
Bloomberg, April 12
Medical School at $278,000 Means Even Bernanke Son Has Debt
Bloomberg, April 11
The trend also applies to the global economy.
Cyprus Rescue: From Bad to Worse
CNBC, April 12
First deflation in over 40 years hits Greece, reminder of recession reality
Russia Today, April 10
Japan's deflation is a product of shrinking work force, not policy
The Globe and Mail, April 9
The above are not obscure headlines made to fit the premise of this article. These recent news items and many like them strongly suggest a major economic trend change.
Most economic observers still do not expect what is about to swiftly unfold.