For the people most immersed in the tech sector, it’s hard to think of a more controversial topic than the ultimate impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on society.
By eventually empowering machines with a level of superintelligence, there are many different possible outcomes ranging from Kurzweil’s technological singularity to the more dire predictions popularized by Elon Musk.
Despite this wide gap in potential outcomes, most technologists do agree on one thing: AI will have a profound impact on the society and the way we do business.
The Economic Impact of AI
Today’s infographic comes from the Extraordinary Future 2017, a new conference in Vancouver, BC that focuses on emerging technologies such as AI, autonomous vehicles, fintech, and blockchain tech.
In the below infographic, we look recent projections from PwC and Accenture regarding AI’s economic impact, as well as the industries and countries that will be the most profoundly affected.
According to PwC’s most recent report on the topic, the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) will be transformative.
By 2030, AI is expected to provide a $15.7 trillion boost to GDP worldwide – the equivalent of adding 13 new Australias to the global economy.
A Geographic Breakdown
Where will AI’s impact be most pronounced?
According to PwC, China will be the region receiving the most economic benefit ($7.0 trillion) from AI being integrated into various industries:
|Region||Economic Impact of AI (2030)||% of Total|
|North America||$3.7 trillion||23.6%|
|Northern Europe||$1.8 trillion||11.5%|
|Developed Asia||$0.9 trillion||5.7%|
|Southern Europe||$0.7 trillion||4.5%|
|Latin America||$0.5 trillion||3.2%|
|Rest of World||$1.2 trillion||7.6%|
Further, the global growth from AI can be divided into two major areas, according to PwC: labor productivity improvements ($6.6 trillion) and increased consumer demand ($9.1 trillion).
Industries Most Affected
But how will AI impact industries on an individual level?
For that, we turn to Accenture’s recent report, which breaks down a similar projection of $14 trillion of gross value added (GVA) by 2035, with estimates for AI’s impact on specific industries.
|Industry||2035 GVA (Baseline)||2035 GVA (AI steady state)|
|Manufacturing||$8.4 trillion||$12.2 trillion|
|Professional Services||$7.5 trillion||$9.3 trillion|
|Wholesale & Retail||$6.2 trillion||$8.4 trillion|
|Public Services||$4.0 trillion||$4.9 trillion|
|Information & Communication||$3.7 trillion||$4.7 trillion|
|Financial Services||$3.4 trillion||$4.6 trillion|
|Construction||$2.8 trillion||$3.3 trillion|
|Transportation & Storage||$2.1 trillion||$2.9 trillion|
Manufacturing will see nearly $4 trillion in growth from AI alone – and many other industries will undergo significant changes as well.
To learn more about other tech that will have a big impact on our future, see a Timeline of Future Technology.
Uncovering Income: Dividend Stocks With Strong Yields
Some companies are cutting or suspending dividends. Which dividend stocks can investors consider for stable distributions and strong yields?
Uncovering Income: Dividend Stocks with Strong Yields
Amid the current market volatility, attractive income-generating investments can be hard to find.
Treasury bond yields hover near record lows, and U.S. companies face restrictions on issuing dividends if they accept COVID-19 stimulus funds. Moreover, Goldman Sachs estimates dividends for S&P 500 stocks will decline by 25% this year.
Which stocks can investors turn to for stable distributions and relatively high dividend yields? Today’s visualization shows 35 stocks that may meet this criteria, leveraging Goldman Sachs data as published by Forbes.
The Dividend Stocks to Watch
To compile the list, Goldman Sachs identified stocks from the Russell 1000 index that met a number of requirements:
- A minimum annualized dividend yield of 3%
- An S&P credit rating of at least BBB+
- Ample cash on hand
- Strong balance sheets
- ”Reasonable” payout ratios
- At least average performance since the market peak
Dividend yields, which measure dividend income in relation to the share price, were initially calculated March 27. We have updated them as of market close on April 8. Here’s the full breakdown, sorted from highest to lowest dividend yield:
|Rank||Company||Ticker||Annual Dividend Yield||Sector|
|1||CenterPoint Energy, Inc.||NYSE: CNP||6.90%||Utilities|
|2||Wells Fargo & Company||NYSE: WFC||6.74%||Financials|
|3||People's United Financial, Inc.||NASDAQGS: PBCT||6.34%||Financials|
|4||Franklin Resources, Inc.||NYSE: BEN||6.28%||Financials|
|5||Regency Centers||NASDAQGS: REG||5.82%||Real estate|
|6||Truist Financial||NYSE: TFC||5.50%||Financials|
|7||International Business Machines||NYSE: IBM||5.43%||Tech|
|8||Omnicom Group Inc.||NYSE: OMC||4.76%||Communication services|
|9||U.S. Bancorp||NYSE: USB||4.71%||Financials|
|10||Raytheon Technologies (merger of Raytheon and United Tech.)||NYSE: RTX||4.69%||Industrials|
|11||NetApp, Inc.||NASDAQGS: NTAP||4.69%||Information Technology|
|12||The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.||NYSE: PNC||4.62%||Financials|
|13||Eaton Vance Corp.||NYSE: EV||4.34%||Financials|
|14||Nucor Corporation||NYSE: NUE||4.12%||Materials|
|15||United Parcel Service, Inc.||NYSE: UPS||4.09%||Industrials|
|16||M&T Bank Corporation||NYSE: MTB||4.09%||Financials|
|17||Exelon Corporation||NASDAQGS: EXC||4.07%||Utilities|
|18||Archer-Daniels-Midland Company||NYSE: ADM||3.95%||Consumer staples|
|19||3M Company||NYSE: MMM||3.95%||Industrials|
|20||Emerson Electric Co.||NYSE: EMR||3.84%||Industrials|
|21||Sysco Corp.||NYSE: SYY||3.81%||Consumer staples|
|22||Mid-America Apartment Communities||NYSE: MAA||3.61%||Real Estate|
|23||Essex Property Trust, Inc.||NYSE: ESS||3.55%||Real Estate|
|24||MDU Resources Group||NYSE: MDU||3.53%||Utilities|
|25||Cummins Inc.||NYSE: CMI||3.51%||Industrials|
|26||Sonoco Products Co.||NYSE: SON||3.50%||Materials|
|27||Cisco Systems, Inc.||NASDAQGS: CSCO||3.45%||Information Technology|
|28||American Electric Power Company, Inc.||NYSE: AEP||3.36%||Utilities|
|29||The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.||NYSE: HIG||3.36%||Financials|
|30||NiSource Inc.||NYSE: NI||3.30%||Utilities|
|31||Caterpillar Inc.||NYSE: CAT||3.23%||Industrials|
|32||Everest Re Group, Ltd.||NYSE: RE||3.13%||Financials|
|33||Bristol-Myers Squibb Company||NYSE: BMY||3.09%||Health care, pharmaceuticals|
|34||The Home Depot, Inc.||NYSE: HD||3.08%||Consumer discretionary|
|35||Bank of America Corporation||NYSE: BAC||3.07%||Financials|
Note: From the original list, 5 stocks have been excluded as they no longer meet the 3% annualized yield threshold.
Centerpoint Energy, an electric and natural gas utility company, is at the top of the list. Since utility stocks are generally considered to be recession-resistant, investors may benefit from both the company’s yield and its defensive qualities.
Financials are the most-represented sector, with 11 companies on the list. Although regulators have pressured European banks to suspend dividend payments, U.S. banks will likely be able to continue their distributions. Top banking executives have argued they have sufficient capital to weather the COVID-19 crisis, and that halting payments would be “destabilizing to investors.”
There are also a number of well-known names on the list, including Home Depot, IBM, and 3M. The latter is the largest maker of respirator masks worldwide, and has been providing critical supplies to the U.S., Canada, and Latin America.
Caution: Volatility Ahead
As the pandemic’s financial impact continues, it’s likely many companies will delay or suspend their dividends. To avoid falling into “yield traps”—a trap in which an attractive yield could be due to a fundamental business problem—investors can screen for the qualities laid out above.
A strong balance sheet, good credit rating, and average or better performance since the downturn can all help point towards stability.
The Pandemic Economy: What are Shoppers Buying Online During COVID-19?
We visualize the ecommerce categories that have experienced the fastest growth, and the categories that are in decline during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Fastest Growing and Declining E-Commerce Categories
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on every aspect of life, including how people shop for their necessities, and their not-so-necessities.
With online retail sales estimated to reach an eye-watering $6.5 trillion by 2023, the ecommerce sector was already booming. But since the outbreak, online shopping has been catapulted into complete overdrive. Even the largest retailers on the planet are struggling to keep up with the unprecedented consumer demand—but what exactly are people buying?
To answer this question, retail intelligence firm Stackline analyzed ecommerce sales across the U.S. and compiled a list of the fastest growing and declining ecommerce categories (March 2020 vs. March 2019) with surprising results.
The Frenzy of Buyer Behavior
As people come to terms with their new living situations, their buying behavior has adapted to suit their needs. While panic buying may have slowed in some countries, consumers continue to stock up on supplies, or “pandemic pantry products”.
Many consumers are also using their newfound time to focus on their health, with 85% of consumers taking up some kind of exercise while in social isolation, and 40% of them saying they intend to keep it up when restrictions are lifted.
These changing behaviors have resulted in a number of product categories experiencing a surge in demand — and although a lot of them are practical, others are wonderfully weird.
The Fastest Growing Categories
While the below list features several shelf-stable items, it seems as though consumers are taking matters into their own hands, with bread making machines sitting in second place and retailers selling out of their top models.
It’s clear from the list that consumers are considering positive changes to their lifestyle while in isolation, as fitness, smoking cessation, and respiratory categories are all experiencing growth.
Explore the 100 fastest growing product categories below:
|Rank||Category||% Change in March (2020 vs. 2019)|
|#3||Cough & Cold||535%|
|#5||Dried Grains & Rice||386%|
|#9||Milk & Cream||279%|
|#12||Hand Soap & Sanitizer||262%|
|#23||Soap & Body Wash||194%|
|#25||Jerky & Dried Meats||187%|
|#26||Chips & Pretzels||186%|
|#33||Nut & Seed Butters||163%|
|#36||Baby Care Products||162%|
|#46||Digestion & Nausea||144%|
|#51||Incontinence & Tummy||129%|
|#54||Training Pads and Trays||125%|
|#57||Dried Fruit & Raisins||120%|
|#58||Salt & Pepper Seasoning||118%|
|#59||Craft Kits & Projects||117%|
|#62||Nuts & Seeds||116%|
|#64||Sauce & Gravy||115%|
|#67||Breads & Bakery||114%|
|#76||Jams, Jellies & Spreads||102%|
|#78||Spices & Seasoning||100%|
|#83||Granola & Nutrition Bars||97%|
|#84||Pudding & Gelatin||97%|
|#85||Toy Clay & Dough||95%|
|#87||Bird Food & Treats||91%|
|#88||Lab & Science Products||90%|
|#89||Eczema & Psoriasis||90%|
|#96||Potty Training Supplies||82%|
|#97||Herbs, Spices & Seasonings||82%|
|#98||Keyboard & Mice||80%|
Interestingly, toilet paper has seen more growth than baby care products, and cured meats have seen more growth than water. But while some categories are experiencing a drastic increase in demand, others are slumping in the pandemic economy.
The Fastest Declining Categories
An unprecedented wave of event and vacation cancellations is having a huge impact on the products people consume. For instance, luggage and suitcases, cameras, and men’s swimwear have all seen a dip in sales.
See the full list of 100 fastest declining categories below:
|Rank||Category||% Change in March (2020 vs. 2019)|
|#1||Luggage & Suitcases||-77%|
|#6||Men's Formal Wear||-62%|
|#9||Boy’s Athletic Shoes||-59%|
|#15||Event & Party Supplies||-55%|
|#16||Motorcycle Protective Gear||-55%|
|#17||Camera Bags & Cases||-54%|
|#18||Women’s Suits & Dresses||-53%|
|#23||Boy's Active Clothing||-50%|
|#25||Store Fixtures & Displays||-50%|
|#28||Watches & Accessories||-49%|
|#29||Cargo Bed Covers||-48%|
|#30||Track & Field Equipment||-48%|
|#33||Girl’s Coats and Jackets||-47%|
|#34||Women’s Hats & Caps||-47%|
|#37||Wheels & Tires||-46%|
|#40||Shocks & Struts||-44%|
|#41||Transmission & Parts||-44%|
|#42||Girl’s Athletic Shoes||-44%|
|#45||Sunglasses & Eyeglasses||-43%|
|#48||Men’s Athletic Shoes||-40%|
|#54||Baby Girl’s Shoes||-39%|
|#61||Tool Storage & Organizers||-38%|
|#64||Men’s Hats & Caps||-37%|
|#70||Bar & Wine Tools||-35%|
|#71||Glassware & Drinkware||-35%|
|#74||Home Bar Furniture||-34%|
|#75||Office Storage Supplies||-34%|
|#76||Girl's Active Clothing||-34%|
|#78||Braces, Splints & Supports||-34%|
|#81||Blankets & Quilts||-33%|
|#82||Women's Athletic Shoes||-33%|
|#86||GPS & Navigation||-32%|
|#97||Sanders & Grinders||-30%|
|#99||Living Room Furniture||-29%|
|#100||Climbing & Hiking Bags||-28%|
Regardless of which list a product falls under, it is clear that the pandemic has impacted retailers of every kind in both positive and negative ways.
The New Normal?
Officially the world’s largest retailer, Amazon has announced it can no longer keep up with consumer demand. As a result, it will be delaying the delivery of non-essential items, or in some cases not taking orders for non-essentials at all.
This presents a double-edged sword, as the new dynamic that is bringing some retailers unprecedented demand could also bring about an untimely end for others.
Meanwhile, the question remains: will this drastic change in consumer behavior stabilize once we flatten the curve, or is this our new normal?
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