The US economy continues at a dismal 2 percent growth rate, well below pre-recession levels of 2.5 to 3 percent. This prolonged stagnation results from an unprecedented “perfect storm” of factors: a tight labor market and a prolonged period of slow revenue growth. What’s worse, we see the possibility of another recession two to four years down the road. In the short term, businesses can expect to pay more for labor and to experience rising interest rates. Businesses considering investment should act now, and concentrate investments in automation and innovation to offset external negatives.