Fact of the Week

May 26th, 2016 by

After the poor performance of private investment in the first quarter GDP data, the U.S. Census Bureau’s April durable goods report provides an initial look at where business investment is headed in the early second quarter. New durable goods orders for April grew by 3.4 percent, after an increase of 1.9 percent in March. Volatility […]

May 19th, 2016 by

  by Raymond J. Keating- Assessing how the industrial sectors of our economy are doing depends on whether one chooses to look at the latest month, or the trend. Some Growth for April The latest report from the Federal Reserve on industrial production – i.e., the real output of the manufacturing, mining, and electric and […]

May 14th, 2016 by

News on the retail front seems to offer a bit of hope on the state of the consumer, but the data also must be put in proper context. According to the latest retail sales report from the Census Bureau, U.S. retail and food services sales for April increased by 1.3 percent. That was the best […]

May 5th, 2016 by

by Raymond J. Keating-  The latest numbers reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on May 4 continued an incredibly long stretch of poor labor productivity. Let’s consider 4 key points on the productivity front. Recent Declines in Productivity. In the first quarter of this year, nonfarm labor productivity declined by 1.0 percent. […]

May 3rd, 2016 by

Over the long run, trade has been an unmistakable plus for the U.S. economy, including for American small businesses. However, the numbers, as well as campaign declarations, on trade recently have been troubling. Consider four overarching points on the trends in trade and trade policy: The Decline in Exports and Imports According to the latest […]

April 28th, 2016 by

Let’s be clear: There is nothing positive in the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis’ release of first quarter GDP. Indeed, a bad economy has gotten worse in recent quarters. Consider 5 Key Points: 1. First quarter annualized real GDP growth came in at a mere 0.5 percent. While this recovery/expansion period has been abysmal – […]

April 15th, 2016 by

The hope that the U.S. industrial sector pulled out of recession suffered a setback with the Federal Reserve’s latest take on industrial production. The Numbers Industrial production – i.e., the real output of the manufacturing, mining, and electric and gas utilities industries – declined in March by 0.6 percent. That matched a drop of 0.6 […]

April 5th, 2016 by

Is there a glimmer of hope in the latest trade data? The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released the latest trade balance data on April 5. Let’s consider 5 key points. One:  In February, exports inched up, from $176.3 billion in January to $178.1 billion. Two:  However, this small gain must be put in perspective, as […]

March 31st, 2016 by

MNI and the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) released the Chicago Business Barometer, also known as Chicago Purchasing Manager Index or Chicago PMI, for March on March 31. The Chicago PMI bounced back by six points to 53.6. A measure of 50 marks the dividing line between expansion and contraction. As noted in the report, […]

March 24th, 2016 by

The latest durable goods data raise added questions about the current state of the 2016 economy. The story of the weak economy over the past eight-plus years is clearly linked to a near-decade of poor private business investment. The new durable goods orders report for February points to this investment underperformance persisting, or indeed, getting […]

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