Jack Plunkett, CEO of Plunkett Research, believes the U.S. economy is headed towards a secular boom between now and 2025.
His book The Next Boom: What You Absolutely, Positively Have to Know About the World Between Now and 2025 outlines his reasoning.
First, the U.S. is one of the few developed countries in the world that's expected to experience strong population growth. The population is expected to expand by roughly 40 million in the next 15 years due to immigrants and newborns.
Having more people is an economic advantage because they provide labor and consumer demand.
In addition, the young population will support the expenses of the elderly and generate income to repay public debt.
Consumers are saving more now, according to studies at Plunkett Research.
This attitude change was largely caused by the reality shock from the Great Recession, said Plunkett. Now, the savings rate has jumped to about 6 percent of disposable income versus virtually zero before the financial crisis.
While the rate is still low compared to levels in the early 1990s, its headed in the right direction. The savings will power investments and make the next boom more sustainable.
In particular, Generation Y (those born from 1981 through 2002 and America's largest population segment at 91 million) will help build a strong economy by saving, working hard, and getting ahead, said Plunkett.
The Great Recession has forever changed the attitude of this generation and given them life-long financial prudence.
They've seen what happened to people who spent too much, said Plunkett.
America is absolutely dominant in many technology fields.
Nanotechnology, remote wireless centers, and biotechnology are three important fields for the next 15 years, according to Plunkett. America, fortunately, holds the lead in all three.
The key question and wild card is whether booms in these industries will translate into American jobs.
Plunkett said Americans have awoken and are now demanding real job creation. With this renewed mandate from the people, the government might just succeed in this regard.
Moreover, these technological advances will act like positive productivity shocks to the economy, much like the Information Technology boom that started in the mid-1990s.
For example, tiny remote wireless centers installed at various points of the manufacturing process can dramatically help quality control, said Plunkett.
There is a growing middle class in emerging market economies.
One, these people are potential customers for American goods. Two, their rising wages will close the gap with U.S. wages and render offshoring jobs from the U.S. to these countries less attractive.
In fact, rising wages have forced the cheapest manual labor jobs out of exporting powerhouses like China to countries like Bangladesh.
How can people cash in on Plunkett's predictions?
One, investors can focus on multinational companies with a firm foot-hold in the emerging markets. Plunkett named Kraft (NYASE:KFT) and Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) as examples.
Two, companies that can develop or benefit greatly from nanotechnology, wireless technology, and biotechnology are attractive.
Plunkett added that the single biggest opportunity in America going forward is any technology that can reduce healthcare costs.
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