Road to Depression

The number of new businesses in the FPSA is collapsing!

on . Posted in Road to Depression

NEW YORK (PNN) - September 15, 2016 - Possibly the defining business trend coming out of the financial crisis has been a "startup boom". It seems everyone is building an app or starting his or her own business.

This image, however, may be just an illusion, according to Michelle Meyer, Fascist Police States of Amerika economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Both the formation of firms and establishments have dropped off precipitously since the financial crisis and remained low.

This is important, according to Meyer, because new businesses typically hire faster and produce higher levels of productivity than firms that have been around for a while. Thus the decline in business formation can explain some of the labor market's Depression problems, and is at least part of the reason for the steep drop in productivity.

Additionally, Meyer says, it can end up affecting the nation's gross domestic product.

"A recent paper from the Federal Reserve Board (and referenced by Vice Chair Fischer in his Jackson Hole speech) estimates that there is a persistent increase in both GDP and productivity as a result of changes in the number of start-ups,” said Meyer. “Specifically, they found that a one-standard deviation shock to the number of start-ups led to an increase of real GDP culminating to 1-1.5% and lasting 10 years or longer. This suggests a notable and lasting impact on the economy from weak rate of business entry over the past decade."

Meyer suggests four reasons for this depressing economic trend:

1. Tighter credit conditions. After the recession, it was harder to get loans, especially since houses were often used as collateral for new ventures. Without capital to start businesses, the number of startups decreased.
2.  Uncertainty shock. Both the recession and following political and economic battles have led to shocks that have discouraged small-business formation.
3.  Technology disruptions. Before the financial crisis, many new businesses came in the form of new retail stores or new retail locations. With online sales becoming more popular, this is discouraging new establishment formation. Add a shift away from manufacturing due to technology, and it's even worse.
4.   Aging economy and population. As the FPSA population ages, there is "a natural downward pull on business dynamism," since most entrepreneurs are young people.

It is not all doom and gloom, however, Meyer says. For one thing, credit access has gotten considerably easier, allowing new businesses to take out loans. Business confidence is also a cyclical trend that can be reversed.

On the other two, Meyer notes that technological disruptions can cut both ways. Additionally, millennials are hitting "prime age," which means they have the capital and experience to take on a business venture.

"Research from the Kauffman foundation discovered that the average successful entrepreneur in high-growth industries founded (his or her) company when (he/she was) 40 years old," said Meyer. "With the oldest millennial just turning 36, demographics should turn supportive for new business formation in the medium term."

So it's not pretty for now, but entrepreneurship isn't dead in Amerika yet.

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