The aerospace industry develops and manufactures planes, engines and related components for the civil and defense markets. Over the past five years, the industry's commercial segment rapidly rebounded with demand lifted by rising global air travel and fleet replacement. Rapid economic growth in emerging markets also increased global air travel – and as a result has increased demand for exports of large commercial aircraft. The U.S. economic recovery also led to increased domestic air travel, helping demand for commercial aircraft – even though most demand is being driven by fleet replacement. The defense industry, however, has been hit hard by declining U.S. defense spending. Industry consolidation will also continue, especially as increased demand encourages a larger formation of suppliers that have the capacity to handle this demand.
The automotive industry involves the manufacturing of vehicles and parts for commercial and individual purposes. As the economy rebounded after 2010, consumer sentiment rose – and interest rates at historically low levels combined with extra incentives increased demand. Prospects ahead are encouraging for the industry, and profit is expected to trend upward over the next five years as industry operators benefit from rising vehicle sales and the cost-cutting measures enacted during the downturn.
Generally, automakers are focusing on the production of smaller, lighter and more fuel-efficient vehicles to become more competitive in the wake of rising regulations and volatile fuel prices. Shifting consumer preferences, along with a general recovery in the demand for vehicles, is expected to lift industry revenue over the next five years. Additionally, re-shoring activity is anticipated to become prominent as more flexible labor agreements encourage industry operators to expand domestically.
The technology industry has grown dynamically over recent years as businesses and consumers buy more software, computers and mobile devices. Additionally, a side effect of web-based solutions and mobile devices has been an explosion of sensitive, private data requiring complex security software products.
The near-term is expected to center on software increasingly entering day-to-day activities as well as the rise of big data predictive analytics and artificial intelligence. Phones and mobile computing devices are providing new platforms on which software publishers can compete. Additionally, the rapid move toward cloud computing is opening an array of software possibilities as phones and tablets are no longer limited by low storage capacity. Finally, demand for security software to protect data is expected to rise considerably as new technologies continue to enter everyday life more and more.
The healthcare industry is comprised of many players; however, it is driven by primary care doctors and hospitals. The aging population has increased demand for healthcare services in recent years with no expectation of this trend easing. Chronic illnesses are disproportionately prevalent in older adults and rising significantly due to demographic shifts. Additionally, the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act now requires all individuals to obtain healthcare coverage. As a result of rising coverage, demand for primary care has grown substantially. But despite this growth, the number of primary care doctors has not expanded enough to keep pace with demand. The hospital segment is consolidating and organizations are seeking the most skilled and specialized healthcare professionals. Consequently, labor costs in this industry are high and hospitals are increasingly facing nurse and physician shortages. Home healthcare and remote diagnosis of routine minor illnesses are becoming more common.
The finance and banking industries serve to facilitate personal and corporate investment and financing activities. Commercial banks are experiencing low revenues due to historically low interest rates. Furthermore, non-interest income remains volatile due to weakness in private business start-ups and expansions, as well as a sluggish residential real estate economy. One bright aspect has been mortgage refinancing, which has seen robust activity as people move out of higher interest mortgages. The industry is experiencing significant consolidation recently, and the robust performance of capital markets over the past several years has also boosted profit margins. In addition, the number of credit-worthy borrows has increased. Looking to the future, government regulation and technology-driven competition are expected to dramatically change the business model that commercial banks use. Revenue will become less volatile, and big banks will grow deposits at a faster rate than smaller savings institutions since their reputations were damaged due to the significant number of bank failures that occurred during the economic downturn.
The oil and gas industry has been challenged by recent declines in oil prices, which are now expected to be sustained for some time. New technologies and extraction techniques, however, are enabling a quick recovery from the negative shock of low prices. Domestic production of oil and gas has steadily increased, and industry operators have positioned themselves to perform strongly in the future. The industry includes a few extremely large globalized companies that typically engage in all steps of the production process – everything from exploration to refining. These large companies received the majority of the benefits from the emergence of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques. As operators deplete their reserves, it becomes increasingly necessary to improve efficiency and minimize waste. Nonetheless, the number of industry operators is expected to increase, as previously uneconomical resources have become accessible.