Business Trends

September 8th, 2021 by

by Raymond J. Keating – Consumer credit continued to recover in July, according to the latest report on consumer credit outstanding from the Federal Reserve. Rather than a survey of attitudes, reports on actual numbers, like consumer credit, provide a tangible insight on the state of the consumer. Revolving credit (namely, credit cards) provide some […]

September 8th, 2021 by

by Raymond J. Keating – According to the latest edition of the Federal Reserve’s “Beige Book,” economic growth has been downgraded from “moderate to robust” in the previous report to “moderate.” According to this snapshot of the economy based on interviews with business contacts, economists, and assorted experts, along with Fed analyses, the slowdown culprits […]

September 4th, 2021 by

  by Raymond J. Keating – According to purchasing and supply managers, the economy continued to expand in August. The Institute for Supply Management’s monthly surveys indicated that the economy grew for the 15th month in a row. At the same time, the two surveys pointed to ongoing challenges in keeping up with demand given […]

September 3rd, 2021 by

by Raymond J. Keating – As a group looking to protect small business and spur entrepreneurship, why does SBE Council care about the latest trade data released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis? The simplest and most straightforward answer is: Exports represent opportunities for U.S. businesses, including small firms, while practically all imports are […]

August 27th, 2021 by

by RAYMOND J. KEATING – Sorting through the July personal income report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis results in a mixed story. Let’s initially take a look at some positives (all data seasonally adjusted annual rates). The Mostly Positives First, after a big decline in April, a smaller but still significant drop in […]

August 26th, 2021 by

by Raymond J. Keating – Little changed with the second estimate of second quarter GDP (gross domestic product) released on August 26 by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Compared to the initial (or “advanced”) estimate released in late July, real GDP growth was revised up, from 6.5 percent to 6.6 percent. Policy Decisions Determine […]

August 25th, 2021 by

by Raymond J. Keating – The latest durable goods orders report from the U.S. Census Bureau served up some negative numbers for July. Hopefully, this is a one-month incident, and not a trend. First, the topline number showed durable goods new orders down by 0.1 percent in July. But that came after a 0.8 increase […]

August 21st, 2021 by

by Raymond J. Keating – The latest state employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that nonfarm payroll employment increased in 38 states in July 2021 compared to the previous month, with 12 states essentially unchanged. But what tells us more about the state of jobs in each state is to compare […]

August 19th, 2021 by

by Raymond J. Keating – Residential housing is a significant part of the U.S. economy, and it’s big on small business. After all, based on the latest Census Bureau data, in the residential building construction sector, for example, 92.3 percent of employer firms have fewer than 10 employees, and 97.4 percent fewer than 20 workers. […]

August 18th, 2021 by

by Raymond J. Keating –  Industrial production – i.e., the actual output of the manufacturing, mining and utility sectors of our economy – grew by 0.9 percent in July, after a gain of 0.2 percent in June, according to the latest report from the Federal Reserve. The key point in the July report was the […]

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