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Although some economists believe that we could be approaching the end of a bull market that began back in 2009 there are still plenty of signs that the US economy in general is thriving. With the unemployment rate at a little over 4%, a 17 year low, and average wages up 2.7% on last year’s figures, people have more money to spend. Add to this an inflation rate that has been hovering around 2% since September 2017 and it’s no surprise that a number of sectors are doing well, including some quite surprising ones too.

For example agriculture in general has seen some big gains with wheat farming seeing a 38% increase in the number of farms along with a 36% rise in wages since 2007. The mobile food service is another area that seems to have been thriving with an 119% increase in employment and a 19.4% rise in wages over the same period. Service industries have also been reaping the rewards of the economic good times with sectors like translation services seeing a 132% growth in employment and internet publishing wages increasing by over 74%.

As well as these, there are a number of sectors that offer potentially lucrative investment opportunities over the next year and more, and here are just eight of them:

1. Construction

2 Man on Construction Site during Daytime

It may not be one of the more glamorous additions to any portfolio but it’s one that offers a sound investment as the country goes through something of a building boom. US Bureau of Labor Statistics show that employment in the sector increased by 210,000 in 2017, 65,000 up on the previous year’s figure of 155,000. There’s been an especially large increase in employment among contractors operating within a particular specialty so this could be a niche well worth seeking out.

2. Brewing and distilling

Stainless Steel Beer Dispenser

There was a time when the big breweries and distillers dominated the market but recent years have seen craft brewers starting up and growing very quickly. For example, in 2007 there were only around 400 brewers across the country but by 2017 this figure had multiplied to almost 2,800. Similarly, from just 100 small distilleries there are now 675. Wineries have been a little less impressive just doubling in number over a decade but in all cases the sheer fact that the industry is growing is a sign that it’s in very good health and its products are much in demand.

3. Financial Institutions

architectural design, architecture, banks

Following the relaxation of many of the regulations governing financial institutions introduced as a direct result of the 2008 crash they’re expected to thrive more than ever over the coming months. It’s been estimated that compliance costs for them have risen by 20% over recent years so the stripping back of the red tape should have an almost immediate effect on their bottom line. So it’s hardly surprising that some estimates have been for a growth rate of as high as 15.2% across the sector over 2018.

4. Gambling

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Gambling, and online gambling in particular, is big business. This year it’s estimated that global revenue for the latter will be over $50 billion, a $30 billion increase from 2009. There are a number of big players in the sector but one which has been seeing especially good results recently is 888Holdings. They have a number of successful brands but their online casino is the most popular, it makes up over 60% of the total revenue they gain from consumers, clearly it is incredibly popular, see why for yourself and go and play online casino at 888casino.com. In their report for 2017 it showed that their revenue had increased 4% to $541.8 million and that they had paid $70.5 million in shareholder dividends, up from $56.6 million the year before.

5. The Green Energy Sector

alternative, alternative energy, clean-energy

Although the Trump administration isn’t quite as supportive of efforts to promote renewable energy as the Obama regime there are still plenty of reasons to be optimistic. According to Deloitte’s 2018 Renewable Energy Outlook there’s still considerable demand and the high profile activities of entrepreneurs like Tesla’s Elon Musk keep it in the public mind. Business is also leading the way, keen to show its environmentally-aware credentials. Over 100 organizations have committed to using 100% renewables and across the country 170 mayors have made the same promise.

6. Cyber Security

device, internet, pixels

Unfortunately, another of the biggest growth areas today is in cyber crime. From highly publicized attacks on major corporations to individuals being targeted by phishing and other techniques, it’s reckoned that it will cost $3 trillion a year in 2108. So the industry that has grown up to fight it should definitely be of interest to investors. Spending on the measures to prevent it is predicted to be over $1 trillion between now and 2021 and a number of the key operators are due to float on the stock market for the first time in 2018. This could be the perfect time to get in on the ground floor.

7. Healthcare

Person Using Black Blood Pressure Monitor

The healthcare sector is in a state of flux at the moment with many mergers and acquisitions taking place as businesses try to consolidate and cut costs. When these efficiencies start to show on the bottom line it will start to make real investment sense to share in their success. Another sector which could be of real interest to investors is in the area of elder care. With an aging population – approximately 22% of the world’s population will be over 60 by 2050 – it’s one that’s sure to grow and grow. As a result, the BLS expects that it will generate 1.2 million new jobs by 2026.

8. Virtual Reality

Man Wearing Gray Hoodie and White Virtual-reality Headset