The Real Economy

A monthly publication for middle market business leaders

Economic Slowdown and Manufacturing Contraction

The Real Economy: Is this the end? Wage Growth and the end of Business Cycles

The September edition of RSM's monthly publication, The Real Economy, features outlook from Joe Brusuelas, the firm's chief economist on the economic impact of tariffs. 

In this issue, we examine the relationship between economic slowdown and manufacturing contraction and offer a new RSM Manufacturing Outlook Index that provides deeper insights to help middle market decision-makers. In addition, we revisit the latest numbers from the RSM US Real GDP Index, explore the heightened need for pricing transparency in health care, and in our trend watch feature, we examine the challenges related to attracting and retaining a skilled workforce.
Some questions that internal audit should ask management in regard to readiness for a potential slowdown include the following:

  • In the event of an economic slowdown, how are we preparing our business for this shift in terms of cash flow and costs, inventory management, supply chain, capital expenditures and more?
  • What investments do we plan to make in the coming 12 months to improve our business in terms of customer base, technology, new-product launch and other growth strategies? What stress could these efforts put on the business if the economy slows?

Internal audit will need to understand how these potential activities affect operations and strategy and factor these into its risk assessment, auditable areas, and plan.

Specific to health care, internal audit should understand and evaluate its organization's pricing strategies and measures taken to make pricing more transparent with its consumer patients. In addition, understanding any opportunities and initiatives around technology and automation to address some of the pricing transparency challenges will be important factors for internal audit to consider from a risk standpoint.
Want to learn more about these economic updates and trends? Click on the link below for the September issue of The Real Economy.

Download the full issue now.

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About The Real Economy

The U.S. middle market makes up one-third of the country’s economy and employs one-third of its workforce, yet this economic growth engine is often overlooked. As the leading provider of assurance, tax and consulting services to middle market businesses, RSM wants to change the conversation.

The Real Economy is a monthly publication to help the middle market anticipate and address the unique issues and challenges facing their businesses and the industries in which they operate. Written by our chief economist, Joe Brusuelas, and including the insights of professionals throughout the firm, The Real Economy is RSM's answer to making sure the unique needs and opportunities of this important segment of our economy are given the attention they deserve.​​​​​​​