Signs of the Times - August 2016 - (Page 14)

Te c h no lo gy U p date Darek Johnson is ST's Senior Technology Editor/ Analyst. Email him at darek.johnson@ stmediagroup.com By Darek Johnson Brexit Signs ISA says the economic outlook is good, but could that change? "After decades of cultivating excessive consumerism and selfindulgence, Americans have become too self-absorbed, overworked, and socially indifferent to notice what is happening around them." - Professor Michael Laitman, president of the Ari Institute, in a July 7 Jerusalem Post editorial. N ot that it's usual signshop banter, but did you notice that Russia expelled two US diplomats from Moscow on June 17? And that the White House subsequently ordered two Russian embassy staff to leave our country? The news media covered the "official" reasons for both sackings but, like Cold War histories, the real reasons are part of a larger game; here, it is Presidents Obama and Putin playing dodgeball. Putin started it, quite possibly as a harassing reaction to the British exit (Brexit) of the European Union. His reason would be that even though the United Kingdom says it will remain in the European Defense Agency (but not the EU), the up-to-now rock-solid EU, a physical manifestation of visionary ideas, has been fractured by Brexit. On July 8, BBC news reported that tensions between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Moscow are growing again. These tensions relate to the world's relationship with President Putin and his bullying nature. The BBC news report said, "Russia's seizure of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine and the involvement of its troops in the fighting in eastern Ukraine has, in NATO's view, "torn up the rulebook" for the way security matters are dealt with in the post-Cold War world." Russia tore up the rulebook, yes, 14 SIGNS OF THE TIMES August 2016 but so did the UK with its Brexit move. For example, on July 8, The Financial Times released a story titled "Harsh Realities of a Weakened Pound" and said "Brexit has unleashed a different sort of currency depreciation and, according to modern economics, one that is less likely to encourage domestic investment for exports, but is more likely to raise inflation and will be more painful for hardpressed families."  On that same day, The Guardian news site said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut its growth outlook for the Eurozone because of the Brexit vote. It warned of a new climate of uncertainty across the Eurozone that "will dent confidence, fan financial-market volatility and spill over into other economies." Are there more problem indicators? Yes, but in reviewing the few I'll present here, remember that the study of economics is that of presenting possible models as a function of situational forces that comprise uncontrolled variables that are governed by the affected country's norms - and how their leaders react to both distant and close-at-hand information available at the time. Any new information or action - meaning variables arriving from outside the present knowledge sphere and outliers that unexpectedly reposition to become mainstream - can certainly amend any wished-for results. ISA's Market Index Summary The International Sign Association (ISA), on June 23, issued an excellent Sign Industry Q2 2016 Market Index Summary and Executive Summary (a macroeconomic overview) that's headlined "After a weak start to 2016, the US economic growth will strengthen." ISA, working alongside the National Association of Sign Supply Distributors (NASSD), contracted with the international market analysis firm IHS to produce the report, which the creators describe as a research tool for ISA members, one that should provide a forecast for future trends and upcoming market shifts. ISA's report says all sign markets will remain above trend through 2017, but notes the 2016 printing outlook is slightly downgraded. The report also says electronic and digital sectors will continue their historical trends and the 2016 expectations for the electric and digital sign end market (sign buyers) remain strong, as does the trend for architectural (structuraltype) signage. The report also says consumer spending, employment growth, real income and household net worth will, by 2018, cause the US economic growth to increase up to 2.6%. It forecasts that the Eurozone economic growth will improve slightly; that the UK's decision to leave the EU will affect its growth; that China's economic growth will slow; and that global crude-oil markets will continue to find a balance as the global surplus ends in late 2016. I have confidence in the report because ISA and the NASSD are high-knowledge organizations and their choice to contract with IHS a good one - but what about the variables and uninhibited outliers? Like, if the EU further fractures and causes the euro to bottom? And, can a European economic crisis spill over into the US? Remember the Asian financial crisis? The Asian financial crisis of

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - August 2016

Signs of the Times - August 2016
Contents
ST Update
Technology Update
Why You Should Invest in a Color-Management Device
Vinyl Apps
Strictly Electric
LED Update
Software Update
Technology Review - Epson SureColor S80600
Technology Review - The AXYZ Trident
Shop Ops
Sign Museum News
New Products
Digging Deep
Writing on the Wall
Dostoevsky and the Crane Truck
Penn State Study Assesses Font Legibility
A Crossroads Celebration
Advertising Index
Editorially Speaking

Signs of the Times - August 2016

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