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Indications

A serious conversation on the global economy grounded in the data, insights, and outlooks you need to stay ahead of the curve in business and beyond. The Conference Board is a leading think tank and non-profit business membership group that's been at the vanguard of navigating economic change since 1916. Our research ushered in the 8-hour workday; shaped policy during the Great Depression and both world wars; and facilitated the inclusion of women, minorities, and the disabled into the workforce. Indications puts our forward-thinking—and roster of leading thinkers—to bear on today's most pressing challenges: from global growth and competitiveness to human capital, sustainability, corporate governance, and more.

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The Geopolitical Impact On Tomorrow’s Global Economy

George Friedman, founder and chairman of Geopolitical Futures, sits down with Bart van Ark, chief economist of The Conference Board, to discuss how an uncertain geopolitical climate is likely to affect the global economy in 2020. George and Bart unpack a range of short-, medium-, and long-term phenomena: How has the economic dysfunction and social instability from the 2008 financial crisis influenced today’s economy? How large is the exposure for importing nations versus exporting nations? How has the rise of technology contributed to social and economic inequality?

23mins

22 Nov 2019

Rank #1

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Indications 2.10: Latin America: Opportunity in Uncertainty

Latin America is a vast, diverse region in flux, with economic prospects varying immensely from country to country—and month to month. In this episode, Chief Economist Bart van Ark and an expert panel tour the latest developments from Cape Horn to the US border. Learn how political pressures, natural resource dependence, exports and trade policy, and security and safety concerns are playing out in  individual markets—and why there’s reason for optimism across the region as a whole. Indications 2.10 Reading List Window on Latin America (webcast)

18mins

8 May 2019

Rank #2

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Indications 2.8: Debt, Denial, and Modern Monetary Theory

According to the IMF, total debt worldwide—including government, consumer, financial, and non-financial sources—now amounts to $185 trillion, or some 2.25 times the size of global GDP. A generation ago, the ratio stood at just 1:1. But despite this rapid rise in leverage, the traditional dangers of government debt in particular—soaring inflation and interest rates—have yet to materialize. Should the evidence of recent decades force experts to reconsider their basic monetary and fiscal assumptions? Have policymakers and the private sector alike reached a new equilibrium of debt tolerance? Or are the established laws of economic gravity still intact—and ignored at our peril? Chief Economist Bart van Ark surveys the evidence with the help of an expert panel. Indications 2.8 Resources Window On the World’s Debt (full webcast on-demand) Window On Latin America (free registration for next webcast on 4/24)

18mins

1 Apr 2019

Rank #3

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Indications 2.9: The Global Consumer Confidence Index

The Conference Board, in conjunction with Nielsen, has formally launched our latest economic indicator. The Global Consumer Confidence Index takes the temperature of consumers in 64 markets around the world—including how, what, and where they intend to spend in the months ahead. In this episode, Chief Economist Bart van Ark and Senior Researcher Denise Dahlhoff discuss the background of the index, an overview of key findings for Q1 2019, and how business leaders can best leverage these quarterly numbers going forward. 

18mins

16 Apr 2019

Rank #4

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Consumers think it's a good time to spend - Q3 update on consumer confidence in Europe

In this podcast, Ilaria Maselli (Senior Economist) deep dives into the quarter 3 results for Europe of The Global Consumer Confidence Index by The Conference Board and Nielsen. They also discuss specific countries of interest, as well as preferences and concerns of European consumers. The new data show that confidence increased in Europe (at 88) and remained unchanged in the Euro Area subset (at 89). These are historically high levels of consumer confidence, in Europe as well as globally. We discuss the gap between (high) consumer confidence and (low) business confidence, and what this means for economic growth. We also dive into consumers' concerns in different countries and remark the increasing concern over global warming. 

13mins

17 Oct 2019

Rank #5

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C-Suite Challenge™ 2020: The View of Risks and Opportunities in 2020

Co-authors Ilaria Maselli, Senior Economist for Europe at the Conference Board and Chuck Mitchell Executive Director, Knowledge Content & Quality at the Conference Board, discuss the findings of our latest C-Suite Challenge report. This report is one of a suite of knowledge offerings based on responses to the C-Suite Challenge™ 2020 survey, which asked CEOs and C-suite executives for their views on the external and internal stress points they face. For a look at our full report go to https://www.conference-board.org/publications/publicationdetail.cfm?publicationid=8882

27mins

8 Jan 2020

Rank #6

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Global Consumer Confidence: Despite Rising Anxieties, Consumers Remain Steadfast (Q3 2019)

The discrepancy between how CEOs view economic prospects (gradually worse) and how consumers continue to feel economically (positive overall) has never been bigger. Which markets have gained and lost confidence the most since the previous quarter? What consumer concern has grown the most? What can we expect for the road ahead? Find out in this conversation featuring The Conference Board’s Chief Economist, Bart van Ark, and Denise Dahlhoff, Senior Researcher focused on consumer topics.

19mins

9 Oct 2019

Rank #7

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Coronavirus Outbreak: Global Economic Implications

The threat of trade wars has receded, but the coronavirus outbreak has added a new level of uncertainty to the global economic outlook. Will its effects be temporary, short term or beyond? Will its impact on China, the world’s second largest economy, reverberate across the globe? “Generally, the history of prior shocks has led to significant short-term effects, but no long-lasting impact,” says Bart van Ark, The Conference Board’s Global Chief Economist. Will this outbreak be different? In this timely podcast, Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director, Economics & Global Research Chair, chats with a panel of experts at The Conference Board, including: Bart van Ark, Chief Economist; Yuan Gao, Senior Economist at the China Center; Jun Tan, Associate Economist; Lynn Franco, Senior Director, Economic Indicators.

28mins

11 Feb 2020

Rank #8

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European Consumer Confidence Wavers Amid Increasing Economic, Political Uncertainties

Q4 2019 consumer confidence in Europe weakened to 86, down from 88 in Q3 2019, suggesting that consumer pessimism in the region has increased. Consumer confidence in the Euro Area was unchanged at 89, slightly above the European average, however and increasing share of households in Germany, Italy and Spain believes that their country is in recession. In this podcast, Ilaria Maselli, Senior Economist for Europe at The Conference Board, compares these fears to the results of C-Suite Challenge 2020 and The Conference Board outlook for the economy for 2020.

12mins

23 Jan 2020

Rank #9

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US Consumer Confidence: Impressive gains and election-year implications

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® (CCI) strengthened further in January 2020. At 131.6 (1985=100), the top-line index is back within sight of all-time highs approached last summer. With the trade conflicts and minor recession scares of 2019 largely behind us, expect the American consumer to be the unchallenged driver of economic growth through the first half of 2020—a full decade into the current expansion.   Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators, breaks down the forces behind this remarkable resilience. Then, she dives into the CCI's special relevance in presidential election years—including two distinct methods by which our data has predicted the reelection chances of incumbents. (Spoiler alert: The two approaches currently disagree on President Trump's chances.) Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on Google Podcasts The generational confidence gap by Dion Rabouin, AxiosThe Atlantic: How Capitalism Broke Young Adulthood by Derek Thompson, The Atlantic

15mins

28 Jan 2020

Rank #10

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Special: Implications of China’s Coronavirus Outbreak for Global Business

The World Health Organization has declared the novel coronavirus outbreak an international public health emergency, acknowledging that the virus now represents a risk beyond China. How can organizations prepare for and manage the potential impact of this fast-moving, deadly outbreak? What are the short and long-term economic implications? How can companies respond to a major health outbreak from various functional perspectives? In this timely podcast, Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director, Economics & Global Research Chair, The Conference Board, sits down with leading experts to discuss these and other critical issues. Participants include: Rebecca Ray, Executive Vice President, Human Capital, The Conference Board; Erik Lundh, Senior Economist, The Conference Board, and an expert on the China economy; Denise Dahlhoff, Senior Researcher, Consumer Research, The Conference Board; and Craig Carroll, Executive Director, OCR Network, and a global expert on corporate reputation.

19mins

4 Feb 2020

Rank #11

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US Labor Shortages: Why they are happening and the challenges they pose for companies

This is the first episode in a 3 part series based on The Conference Board report “US Labor Shortages: Challenges and Solutions.” In this first episode, Gad Levanon, Head of The Conference Board Labor Markets Institute, and Frank Steemers, Associate Economist, discuss why we’re seeing labor shortages economy wide and the implications for companies and workers. Labor shortages are having a strong impact on the US economy. A perfect storm of labor market conditions—including a stagnant working-age population due to massive retirements and disappointing labor force participation of key demographics—have led to a shrinking number of available workers without a college degree. As a result, labor shortages in blue-collar and manual services occupations are now more real than ever. Companies hiring these workers are facing the most severe challenges in recruiting and retaining their workforce. On the flip side, tight labor markets are a boon for workers. US blue-collar and manual services workers have experienced improved job satisfaction, as wages rise and wage inequality shrinks.

15mins

26 Feb 2020

Rank #12

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Consumer Confidence holds strong and steady in February—with Coronavirus fears lurking

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index ticked up slightly in February, with further strengthening of expectations offsetting a pullback in consumers’ assessment of present conditions. The bottom line: American consumers remain historically confident—with their spending likely to drive continued economic growth through the first half of 2020. Could the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak—which escalated globally after our February survey closed—grow into the “black swan” that finally disrupts years of positive trends?      Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators, explores the epidemic’s latest signals and downside risks—and explains how long the good times for consumers can continue as we approach November in an election year.   Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on Google Podcasts

11mins

26 Feb 2020

Rank #13

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Consumer Confidence Goes Up in Europe in Quarter 2

In this podcast, Ilaria Maselli (Senior Economist) and Derek Servais (senior digital media and IT specialist) deep dive into the quarter 2 results for Europe of The Global Consumer Confidence Index by The Conference Board and Nielsen. The new data show that confidence increased in Europe and in the Euro Area. Compared to quarter 1, Europeans are more likely to spend on new clothes, vacations, out of home entertainment and medical. But there are also consumers using the spare cash to nourish their savings or retirement funds, not surprising given the demographic profile of the continent. Europeans are less interested in spending on home improvements and decoration and tech products.

10mins

17 Jul 2019

Rank #14

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Indications 2.6. Taking the Temperature of the Global Consumer

Around the world, business leaders are growing increasingly nervous about 2019 growth prospects. Are consumers following suit? Ultimately, the answer will come down to job availability, income growth incomes, and the purchasing power of their hard-earned money. Chief Economist Bart van Ark leads a team of experts on a world tour of consumer confidence—and comes away largely reassured.  Indications 2.6 Window on the Global Consumer (webcast) Global Consumer Confidence Index (preview)

12mins

31 Jan 2019

Rank #15

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Indications 2.7: Is US Consumer Confidence Waning?

The Conference Board started the Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) in 1967. In February 2009, at the nadir of the financial crisis, the Index reached an all-time low of 25.3 points (1985=100). Over the next decade, an arduous recovery littered with false starts and temporary reversals slowly took root to produce a historic expansion. By October 2018, consumer confidence had climbed to 137.9—just points away from the all-time high reached in 2000.    Since then, however, things have become murkier and more volatile. After a 7.3-point drop in March 2019, consumer confidence now stands at 124.1. Consumers’ appraisal of the present situation has taken an especially big hit. Is this an expected moderation or an early warning of impeding recession? Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators and surveys, examines the evidence. Indications 2.7 Reading List The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®

18mins

29 Mar 2019

Rank #16

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Indications 2.11: Consumer Confidence and Spending Behavior Across the World: Q2 2019 findings

In this podcast, The Conference Board’s Chief Economist Bart van Ark and Senior Researcher Denise Dahlhoff discuss select results from the Q2 2019 run of The Conference Board Global Consumer Confidence Survey, which is a collaboration with Nielsen. Findings include developments regarding consumer confidence in countries such as the U.S., China, Brazil, Mexico, UK, France and Germany, consumers’ spending on certain categories, and their top concerns. For more information on the research, visit The Conference Board's Website

18mins

8 Jul 2019

Rank #17

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Understanding the Labor Market Consequences of the COVID-19 Outbreak in Europe and in the US - a primer

A large share of the world population is in lockdown right now. The speed and depth of the downturn we are experiencing are unprecedented and, inevitably, this will have an impact on labor markets. What do we know about unemployment so far in US and Europe? What industries or workers groups are more affected? How are companies dealing with shortages in some sectors? And, will we see productivity growth increasing as unexpected but positive impact of this crisis? These are the questions we deal with in this podcast.

34mins

6 May 2020

Rank #18

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US Consumer Confidence Takes Another Significant Drop in April

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index weakened considerably in April, following a steep decline in March. Join Chief Economist Bart van Ark, and  Senior Director of Economic Indicators, Lynn Franco, as they discuss the monthly numbers and a surprising improvement in consumers’ short-term outlook.

16mins

28 Apr 2020

Rank #19

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Steve Odland Talks CEO Confidence on Sirius XM Business Radio

President and CEO of The Conference Board, Steve Odland, discusses how COVID-19 is impacting CEOs' views about the state and trajectory of the US economy and business environment. 

10mins

13 Apr 2020

Rank #20