Back to forward thinking

Author Dennis Spaeth
May 01, 2023 - 01:00am

Thanks for scanning the QR code to find this update to my Lead Angle column in the May 2023 issue of Cutting Tool Engineering magazine. In case you stumbled across this post by chance while surfing the web, I wrote about my interest in an economic forecast delivered April 28 at the 2023 Manufacturing For Growth meeting in Phoenix.

A brief description of the session, titled "Gauging the Risks Going Forward 2023 - 2024," promised "no emotions or histrionics or political agenda" from keynote speaker Alan Beaulieu, Ph.D., the president of ITR Economics, an economic research and consulting firm based in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Aside from occasionally denigrating The New York Times for its coverage of day-to-day financial news, Beaulieu more or less kept exaggerated emotions in check. He let the numbers do the talking. And, let me tell you, he presented more numbers than I ever knew existed.

For your sanity, and mine, I've summarized the presentation into the following list of salient observations and forecasts.

  • ITR's "big picture" forecast for the general economy predicts a mild recession to arrive in the fourth quarter of this year and continue late into 2024. "Then," Beaulieu added, "we will be back on the upswing in 2025." In fact, he said the upswing would continue through the end of the decade.
  • Unfortunately, he also said, "we are on target for the Great Depression to start in 2030." Then he criticized the media for using words like "cratering" when describing the economy, and that the recession won't be nearly as bad as the media will make it out to be.
  • Forecasts call for 10.1% industry growth through mid 2023 using the 12/12 month moving total. But the 3/12 monthly moving total (MMT) is below that at 8.0%. Historically, Beaulieu observed, when the 3/12 MMT is below the 12/12 MMT, that means there's downside business cycle pressure forming.
  • Why a mild recession? Beaulieu suggested that the recession would be mild because businesses are in good shape. Delinquency rates and bankruptcy rates are low. Businesses have cash. Consumers are in good shape. And even banks are in good shape. Don't get him started on media coverage of the recent bank failures.
  • Expect disinflation and deflation this year and throughout 2024.
  • This near-term period will be a good time for businesses to maximize competitive advantages to protect their margins, Beaulieu suggested. Interest rates are likely to come down before they begin to climb again in 2025.
  • Deglobalization is coming.

Related Glossary Terms

  • cratering


    Depressions formed on the face of a cutting tool caused by heat, pressure and the motion of chips moving across the tool’s surface.

  • lead angle

    lead angle

    Angle between the side-cutting edge and the projected side of the tool shank or holder, which leads the cutting tool into the workpiece.

  • web


    On a rotating tool, the portion of the tool body that joins the lands. Web is thicker at the shank end, relative to the point end, providing maximum torsional strength.



Dennis, who served as electronic media editor at Cutting Tool Engineering from January 2007 through May 2018, is now the owner and publisher of the magazine and CTE Publications Inc. Dennis holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northern Illinois University, and has more than 40 years of media experience.