Fact of the Week

April 21st, 2017 by

  by Raymond J. Keating- Two notable takes on the economy were served up this week. Let’s take a quick look at key points from each. Manufacturing Production Off. For March, industrial production (which measures the real output of the manufacturing, mining, and electric and gas utilities industries) rose by 0.5 percent. But that was […]

March 31st, 2017 by

  by Raymond J. Keating- The February personal income report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis offered a few numbers that warrant concern for early 2017. First, real disposable income (i.e., personal income less personal current taxes, which is the amount of income left for spending, saving and investing) rose by 0.2 percent in […]

March 17th, 2017 by

by Raymond J. Keating- According to the latest industrial production numbers released by the Federal Reserve on March 17, while production in the overall industrial sector was flat for February, both manufacturing and mining output rose solidly. The big negative in industrial production came on the utilities front – with output there dropping by 5.7 […]

February 8th, 2017 by

By Raymond Keating- For the 21st year, SBE Council has published its Small Business Policy Index, which ranks the 50 states based on their policy climates for small business and entrepreneurship. The Small Business Policy Index: Ranking the States on Policy Measures and Costs Impacting Entrepreneurship and Small Business Growth is based on 55 different […]

January 28th, 2017 by

By Raymond Keating- Imposing additional regulatory costs on entrepreneurs, businesses, investors and banks was a hallmark of the Obama administration. Early signs from the Trump administration point to a major shift in direction on regulatory policy. My recent report on regulation – Regulation: Costs, Incentives, and the Need for Reform — included assessments of regulation […]

December 20th, 2016 by

We all know how critical the elves are to the entire Santa Claus Christmas operation. Indeed, elf productivity is legendary. However, even Santa and his elves could not accomplish all the gift-producing and gift-giving on their own. Make no mistake, small businesses are critical helpers to Santa Claus. For example, when you look at the […]

December 14th, 2016 by

Policy plays a huge role in improving productivity growth The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released an updated look at third quarter productivity earlier this month. Nonfarm business labor productivity actually rose at an annualized rate of 3.1 percent in the third quarter. This likely lines up as another occasional blip up in a quarter […]

December 11th, 2016 by

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis on December 6 gave us the first look at exports and imports in the fourth quarter, with its release of October trade numbers. In SBE Council’s recent Gap Analysis #7: Lost Exports, Lost Small Businesses, it was noted that export growth, for example, has been woeful over the past […]

December 2nd, 2016 by

The Institute for Supply Management’s read on manufacturing for November pointed to the manufacturing sector expanding its output in November. As reported by the ISM: “Manufacturing expanded in November as the PMI registered 53.2 percent, an increase of 1.3 percentage points from the October reading of 51.9 percent, indicating growth in manufacturing for the third […]

December 2nd, 2016 by

More exit the workforce, entrepreneurship declines by Raymond J. Keating- The November jobs report from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics was another mixed at best snapshot of where the U.S. economy stands. Consider 3 troubling takeaways from the report: Payroll Growth Far from Robust The reported 178,000 gain in payrolls in November, according to […]

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