Business Trends

June 12th, 2024 by

by Raymond J. Keating – The Consumer Price Index (CPI) report for May 2024 is my kind of inflation report. Unfortunately, it’s just one month, and when inflation runs hot, it also tends to be volatile from month to month. Nonetheless, the May number from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics was most welcome. In […]

June 7th, 2024 by

by Raymond J. Keating – The latest employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics served up some mixed numbers. The headline number was fine. That is, the BLS establishment survey pointed to nonfarm payroll employment increasing by a solid 272,000 in May. However, the report’s household survey – a more comprehensive measure that […]

June 5th, 2024 by

by Raymond J. Keating – The Institute for Supply Management’s purchasing managers indexes pointed to manufacturing contracting, again, in May, while services bounced back from a decline in April to growth in May. The latest ISM Manufacturing PMI pointed to the grim stretch on U.S. manufacturing having continued in May 2024. The manufacturing PMI came […]

June 3rd, 2024 by

by Karen Kerrigan –  On May 22, the House Small Business Committee released a report following a 15-month long staff investigation into federal agency compliance – or lack thereof – with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). The RFA is designed to protect small businesses from the effects and unintended consequences of federal regulation. Upon release […]

May 29th, 2024 by

by Raymond J. Keating – The latest edition of the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book wasn’t exactly heartening on the economy. Most Fed districts reported “slight or modest” economic growth, while two noted no growth. The Fed’s “Beige Book,” by the way, offers information based on reports from Fed district bank and branch directors, as well […]

May 25th, 2024 by

by Raymond J. Keating –  According to the latest “Durable Goods Manufacturers’ Shipments Inventories and Orders” report from the U.S. Census Bureau, new orders for manufactured durable goods in April increased by 0.7 percent, which followed on increases of 0.8 percent in March and 1.2 percent in February. However, zeroing in on capital investment, new […]

May 7th, 2024 by

  by Raymond J. Keating – Business investment is essential to economic growth now, but also into the future, as investment serves as the seeds for future growth and development. In the GDP data, business investment is captured in real private fixed nonresidential investment. And there are three broad areas of investment within this larger […]

May 6th, 2024 by

SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan, shared various key facts about how small businesses drive innovation, boost economic growth, and create jobs as a guest of This is Small Business, an Amazon podcast. Kerrigan was joined by Kylie Jiwon Hwang, Assistant Professor at the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, who provided insights on […]

May 2nd, 2024 by

by Raymond J. Keating –  The good news in the latest labor productivity report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is that nonfarm business sector labor productivity grew in the first quarter of 2024. However, the rate of growth slowed markedly from strong growth in the previous three quarters in 2023. At a […]

May 1st, 2024 by

by Raymond J. Keating –  The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced on May 1 that it would leave interest rates unchanged – that is, it would “maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 5-1/4 to 5-1/2 percent.” That was largely expected. But something far more interesting was said. And let’s give […]

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