PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Business Trends

September 17th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- A major area of the economy that has bounced back impressively since the first months of this pandemic has been housing. After three months of strong growth, the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau points to a housing construction taking a breather in August. Well, kind of, given that the […]

September 17th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- Accompanying the Federal Open Market Committee’s statement released on Wednesday (September 16) were the economic projections that govern, to some degree, Fed policymaking. Among the many harsh lessons learned in recent months is that the business of projecting where the economy is headed is a dicey undertaking, to say the least. […]

September 16th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The latest report on retail sales from the U.S. Census Bureau pointed to the consumers climbing out of the hole created by the pandemic and related shutdowns, as well as e-commerce retailers largely sustaining recent increases in sales. Census reported that sales for retail and food services in August grew by […]

September 10th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The latest initial jobless claims report from the U.S. Department of Labor indicates that the movement in positive – or less bad – direction has stalled. During the week ending September 5, seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims remained unchanged at 884,000 compared to the previous week. For good measure, continued jobless […]

September 9th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- Small business owners and executives at larger firms should take note of a new poll from Gallup that gauges Americans’ views of particular industries. Gallup asked, as it has been doing for decades, about one’s “overall view” of specific business sectors and how they are viewed in the following terms: “very […]

September 4th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- On the long road to recovery, August ranked as a solid month in terms of employment, based on the latest jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The establishment survey pointed to payroll gains of 1.37 million in August, which fell in line with a notable slowdown over the […]

September 3rd, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- As an economist who is an optimist at heart, it’s encouraging to highlight a positive report in the midst of this pandemic economy. The IHS Markit U.S. Services PMI reported “a strong expansion in business activity across the U.S. service sector, as output rose at the sharpest rate for nearly one […]

September 3rd, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The U.S. Department of Labor’s latest report on initial jobless claims changed its measurement for seasonal adjustments, which effectively makes it a bit of a mess. But, hey, why not? After all, these are messy times. The headline from the report is that weekly initial jobless claims, seasonally adjusted, declined to […]

September 2nd, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book serves up an assessment of the economy based on information gathered from assorted sources outside the Fed. It would have been nice to see some kind of upside surprise in the latest edition, released on September 2, but alas, that was not the case. However, there […]

September 1st, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- On September 1, two measures of U.S. manufacturing activity illustrated that manufacturing improved in August. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported that the manufacturing sector expanded in August. Timothy R. Fiore, chairman the ISM’s Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, said: “The August PMI registered 56 percent, up 1.8 percentage points from the July reading […]

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