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Business Trends

January 15th, 2021 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The news on retail sales for December in the latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau was worse than expected. Retail and food services sales for December declined by 0.7 percent compared to November, after a drop of 1.4 percent in November and a slight decline in October. Market expectations were […]

January 13th, 2021 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The latest edition of the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book offers a decidedly mixed take on the struggle for economic recovery. Modest Increase in Growth Based on information from interviews with “key business contacts, economists, market experts, and other sources,” the Beige Book started off at least somewhat encouraging by noting, “Most […]

January 12th, 2021 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The latest “Job Openings and Labor Turnover” report was just released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and it points to little of substance changing in November regarding job openings, new hires and the quits rate. Meanwhile, the bigger picture provides a reminder that the U.S. economy remains in a […]

January 8th, 2021 by

by Raymond J. Keating- After breathtaking losses in employment in March and April of 2020, a struggle to recover those jobs began in May and persisted, unevenly into November. However, as the latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows, that clawing back of jobs stopped in December. Establishment Survey The establishment survey […]

January 8th, 2021 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The Institute for Supply Management’s services index showed that growth continued for the seventh month in a row in December. The services PMI registered 57.2 percent in December, up by 1.3 percentage points versus November. Anthony Nieves, chairman of the Institute for Supply Management Services Business Survey Committee, noted: “This reading […]

January 8th, 2021 by

by Raymond J. Keating- Trade had been a drag on economic growth prior to the pandemic hitting, and then, of course, both exports and imports dropped precipitously. As noted in the latest trade report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the slow clawing back has been underway for the past five to six months. […]

January 5th, 2021 by

by Raymond J. Keating- Manufacturing continued to recover at the end of 2020, according to major surveys of manufacturing activity – with one measure pointing to particularly strong gains in December. At the same time, the pandemic persists as a source of disruption and uncertainty. The IHS Markit U.S. Manufacturing PMI, for example, highlighted increases […]

December 22nd, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- In the midst of an economy struggling under a pandemic stretching beyond its ninth month, no one should be surprised that the latest measure of consumer confidence from the Conference Board showed a decline in December. The December drop followed a decline in November as well. Indeed, the decline in the […]

December 22nd, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- A week before Christmas, Gallup released the latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index. While the Index moved up recently and so has the stock market, investor confidence remains well below pre-pandemic levels. However, it is important to understand that stock prices are forward looking, and also to note what […]

December 18th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- When the economy hits an economic storm and rough waters, there’s naturally many ups and downs. We get some data that offers hope, and other data that makes clear the troubles being confronted. The latest state jobs data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a sober reminder of the […]

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