The Real Economy: April 2024

The miracle of rising productivity in America’s real economy

As the American economy has weathered significant shocks since the start of the pandemic, a revolution has quietly been taking place: Productivity is rising.

In the April issue of The Real Economy, RSM’s chief economist, Joseph Brusuelas, and U.S. economist, Tuan Nguyen, analyze what is behind this surge not seen in decades and what it means for the middle market. Investments in technology and efficiency in recent years are starting to pay off, and they represent a potential game changer that could raise living standards for all Americans.

The increase in American productivity over the past year, if sustained, is a potential game changer for the economy, representing the mythical rising tide that lifts the living standards of all.
Joe Brusuelas, Chief Economist

Also in this issue, Nguyen and Brusuelas look at the changing energy landscape, with a focus on natural gas and the vital role it is playing in the transition toward a lower-carbon future. Finally, RSM’s Kendra Blacksher and Juan Villafrade make the business case for increasing diversity in middle market manufacturing firms.

We look at these topics and more in this issue of The Real Economy.

Inside the April issue

Industry spotlight: Manufacturing

Diversity among middle market manufacturers: A pivotal talent priority
Diversity among middle market manufacturers is a pivotal talent priority.

RSM contributors

The Real Economy Livestream series

Middle market outlook: Key economic themes for 2024

Join RSM US Chief Economist Joe Brusuelas and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Neil Bradley as they discuss the current economic climate, including rising U.S. productivity, and the outlook for inflation and hiring.

Recorded April 2, 2024 

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Timely economic analysis and trends to help middle market businesses succeed

Q1 2024 Middle Market Business Index (MMBI)

RSM US Middle Market Business Index shows a sustained expansion

Key findings:

  • The MMBI eased slightly to 130.8 from 132.3 at the close of last year.
  • Nearly two-thirds of executives said they expect an improvement in economic conditions over the next six months.
  • Sixty-seven percent said they anticipate an improvement in both net earnings and revenues later this year.

Also from The Real Economy

Monthly economic analysis report for the US middle market

The Real Economy Blog

The Real Economy Blog was developed to provide timely economic insights about the middle market economy. It is offered as a complement to RSM’s macroeconomic thought leadership, including The Real Economy monthly publication and the proprietary RSM US Middle Market Business Index (MMBI).

The voice of the middle market

Middle market organizations, which make up the “real economy,” are too big to be small and too small to be big. They have distinct challenges and opportunities around resources, labor, technology, innovation, regulation and more.