Fact of the Week

February 5th, 2016 by

Even though their membership numbers are dwindling, labor unions are having an outsized impact on the small business workplace and the entrepreneurial sector of the economy. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released its latest measure of labor union membership in the United States. Total Union Membership Overall, labor union members as a share of employed remained […]

January 22nd, 2016 by

The recovery in the housing sector has been very slow, and neither permits nor starts have climbed back to levels expected during an economic recovery. When looking at the latest data and trends on housing, it’s important to keep in mind that not only does housing play a major part in the U.S. economy – […]

January 15th, 2016 by

The latest industrial production data released by the Federal Reserve on January 15 shows that 2015 was a tough year for the industrial side of our economy, and a longer-term view of the numbers shows a failure to recover from the most recent recession. Consider 4 key points: ONE:  Total industrial production, which is the […]

January 7th, 2016 by

Capital Investment Woes Persist Private investment is central to economic growth in the near term and over the long haul. A key glimpse of where private capital spending is headed comes via the U.S. Census Bureau’s durable goods orders statistics. The latest report was released on January 6 covering manufacturers’ orders. Manufactured Durable and Nondurable […]

December 30th, 2015 by

by Raymond J. Keating- Jump online and search “small business New Year’s resolutions,” and you’ll get a long list. That’s not surprising, ending one year and starting another seems to serve as a natural time to take stock, and make some decisions about what needs to be changed, accelerated or altered in some way in […]

December 21st, 2015 by

We always hear so much about the importance of the Christmas shopping season.  Let’s review why the holiday shopping period is an important one for U.S. retailers. Consider a few key points noted by the U.S. Census Bureau: 14.2 percent of total sales in 2014 for department stores occurred in December. For jewelry stores, December […]

December 17th, 2015 by

The tax package being considered by Congress is a small but important step towards fostering an environment that promotes investment and growth. But much, much more needs to be done on the policy front. by Raymond Keating- The industrial sector of our economy is in recession. The November industrial production numbers released by the Federal […]

December 4th, 2015 by

“Moderate” and “modest”? Once again, that’s how economic growth is being described in the latest release of the Federal Reserve Beige Book. In fact, you could throw in “slower” when it comes to at least one Fed region. Here’s the opening paragraph of the report: “The twelve Federal Reserve District reports indicate that economic activity […]

November 24th, 2015 by

In many homes this Thanksgiving, family members will go around the table with each person stating what they are thankful for. As an economist, I’ve followed the ups and downs in our economy over the past eight years and sometimes it is hard to be thankful when viewing specific data. The recession we entered in […]

November 19th, 2015 by

The October industrial production numbers released by the Federal Reserve raise additional questions about the industrial sector of the U.S. economy. Industrial production (the actual output of manufacturing, mining and utilities) fell in October by 0.2 percent compared with September. Industrial production has declined for two straight months now, and been down in seven of […]

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