Business Trends

November 24th, 2021 by

Perhaps the White House and Congress will take note. by Raymond J. Keating –  On November 18, Governor Roy Cooper of North Carolina signed a state budget into law. That budget included a bold tax relief package that, when fully implemented, will make North Carolina one of the most attractive states in the nation to […]

November 17th, 2021 by

  by Raymond J. Keating –  The residential housing construction sector achieved a phenomenal bounce back after the initial COVID-19 hit. But since the start of this year, the industry has been treading water, albeit at a higher level than what prevailed pre-pandemic. The latest “Monthly New Residential Construction” report showed that hosing building permits […]

November 17th, 2021 by

by Raymond J. Keating – After two tough months in a row, the industrial sector of the U.S. economy bounced back in October, according to the latest industrial production report from the Federal Reserve. The Fed reported that after no growth in August and a decline of 1.3 percent in September, industrial production (i.e., the […]

November 16th, 2021 by

by Raymond J. Keating – The topline number in the latest retail sales report from the U.S. Census Bureau would be quite welcome, even celebrated, in normal times. But these are not normal times. Retail and food services sales in October increased by 1.7 percent over the previous month. That’s a solid, even robust, gain, […]

November 15th, 2021 by

  by Raymond J. Keating – There’s plenty of things for retailers, who are overwhelmingly small businesses, to be concerned about this year, so a solid Christmas holiday shopping season would be most welcome. As for expectations, it depends on which set of information you’re paying attention to in the end. The many worries include […]

November 13th, 2021 by

by Raymond J. Keating – The latest “Job Openings and Labor Turnover” report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) served up an interesting trend that warrants attention. While job openings and hires on the last day of September showed little change from the previous month, the quits level and rate reached series highs. […]

November 10th, 2021 by

by Raymond J. Keating –  The Federal Reserve under the leadership of Chairman Jerome Powell needs to start doing its job. That is, the Fed needs to stop pretending that it can magically generate economic growth, and understand that it is more than capable of generating high inflation via loose monetary policy. Indeed, inflation is […]

November 5th, 2021 by

by Raymond J. Keating – The current economic recovery from the initial shock and lingering effects of the pandemic requires significant, consistent gains in terms of, for example, economic and employment growth. While the most recent report on second quarter GDP was disappointing, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic’s employment report for October was solid […]

November 4th, 2021 by

by Raymond J. Keating – Labor productivity matters to the economy more than is generally acknowledged. After all, nonfarm business sector labor productivity, or output per hour, is essential over the long run to determining income. That is, wages and salaries are dependent on productivity. For good measure, productivity also matters to the profitability of […]

November 3rd, 2021 by

  by Raymond J. Keating – A nation’s monetary authority’s legitimate focus should be on working to maintain a sound currency and price stability. In the U.S., that’s the Federal Reserve’s job. And while the Fed can and often does get thrown off track by the added congressional mandate of maximizing employment, the only real […]

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