The Dean's List: Top Five Economic Trends to Watch

January 16, 2024
Sandeep Mazumder surrounded by illustration that says, "The Dean's List: Top 5 Economic Trends to Watch"

There are many conditions that factor into how the economy will operate. Sandeep Mazumder, the William E. Crenshaw Endowed Dean of the Hankamer School of Business, conducts research in macroeconomics. He identified a few economic trends to watch for in 2024.

5. Demographics

One of the key indicators of the future health of the economy is the population size and the amount of people in the population who are in the labor force. As the workforce ages, there are greater challenges to maintaining existing productivity and growth. 

4. Texas’ Economy

The Texas economy has performed quite well in recent years—arguably even better than the national economy has done. Many commentators are watching whether this has peaked or if the Texas economy will keep growing and expanding.

3. Election Year

We tend to track the performance of the economy very closely in an election year, and 2024 will be no different. When interpreting what presidential candidates claim, make sure to verify their claims yourself by looking at the actual economic data.  

2. Unemployment Rate

The unemployment rate has been lower than the historical trend in the U.S. for quite a while, and it will be very interesting to see whether the trend of employment is on a new path or if we will return to the previous one.

1. Inflation Target

Will the U.S. get back to two percent inflation as the Fed desires us to? It is very possible that will happen in 2024. Yet many academic economists—myself included—think it is not a bad time or idea for the Fed to revise their inflation target to three or four percent.