Business Trends

March 21st, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The Federal Reserve issued its latest statement on monetary policy on March 20, along with its economic projections. In its statement, the Fed summed up it take on the economy this way: “Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in January indicates that the labor market remains strong but […]

March 17th, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- According to the latest report from the Federal Reserve, industrial production – that is, the real output of the manufacturing, mining, and electric and gas utilities – performed poorly during the first two months of 2019. Overall industrial production inched forward by 0.1 percent in February, which followed on a decline […]

March 14th, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The Census Bureau’s durable goods report for January was positive, beating market expectations. While economists and other watchers expected a decline in durable goods orders for January, orders actually increased by 0.4 percent, which was the third consecutive monthly increase. Drilling down, transportation orders, which can be very volatile from month […]

March 7th, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The latest take on economic activity via the Fed’s Beige Book pointed to continued, but slowing growth in late January and February. As noted in this latest survey of contacts outside the Federal Reserve system, “Economic activity continued to expand in late January and February, with ten Districts reporting slight-to-moderate growth, […]

March 5th, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The two latest takes on the economy from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) provide a double hit of generally good news on the economy. First, on March 1, the ISM’s manufacturing index reported that the manufacturing sector grew in February for the 30th straight month, while also pointing out that […]

March 1st, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its estimate on estimate on economic growth for the fourth quarter 2018 and for the entire year. According to the data, economic growth improved in 2018, but the U.S. economy is not growing as robustly as it has averaged in the past. During […]

February 27th, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- On February 26, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis published its latest report of economic growth in the states. The data looked at the third quarter of 2018, and found that economic growth was positive in 49 states, with West Virginia’s state GDP experiencing no growth. It’s also worth noting that […]

February 24th, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- On February 21, the U.S. Census Bureau released its durable goods report for December. Durable goods orders in December increased by 1.2 percent. For the entire year, durable goods orders showed strength, with orders up by 8.1 percent in 2018 versus 2017. In December, big gains came on the transportation front […]

February 24th, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The takeaway on small business optimism in the latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey (taken between January 9-15 and released on February 7) is a bit tricky, but the bottom line remains that American entrepreneurs are resiliently optimistic. The overall score index came in at 106, which was down notably […]

February 16th, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- On February 15, the Federal Reserve reported that industrial production – the output of the nation’s industrial sectors, i.e., manufacturing, mining and utilities – declined in January by 0.6 percent. Manufacturing output, which makes up about 75 percent of production, declined by 0.9 percent. The big negative was in motor vehicle […]

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