"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Continued Bleak Economic Outlook

Yesterday, our investment advisors were at WMHS with their semi-annual report on the health system's investments.  Each gave a perspective on the market outlook for the remainder of this year and the next several years.  The most surprising comment was that we shouldn't see any improvement until 2015 to 2018.  According to their outlook, the current and future risks are many: a great deal of political uncertainty both in the US and abroad; a projected $500 billion in new taxes looming this coming January 1 which will impact disposable income; an economic slowdown in China; ongoing debt issues where the US government is addressing the debt issue by creating more debt (huh?).  There is some good news with a few positives: US corporations are getting stronger; inflation continues to be low; aside from oil, energy costs are low; and the housing supply is improving but the housing market is still trying to bottom out.  Using a health care analogy to describe our economy, one investment advisor said that it's like a patient who is no longer critical but remains in a weakened state, vulnerable to relapse.  I wish the news was better, but at least we have the necessary information to plan accordingly.

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