Business Trends

April 18th, 2024 by

By Rieva Lesonsky – The newest data about teens, the Taking Stock With Teens survey, recently released by Piper Sandler, an investment bank, shows that while teens spent slightly more than they did in last fall’s survey, their spending is down 6% from last spring. Piper Sandler says this is “well below pre-pandemic levels. This may be bad […]

April 16th, 2024 by

by Raymond J. Keating –  Industrial production – that is, the actual physical output of the manufacturing, mining and utility sectors free from price changes – grew for the second straight month in March 2024. Industrial production was up by 0.4 percent in March, which followed on a 0.4 percent gain in February as well. […]

April 15th, 2024 by

by Raymond J. Keating – Retail and food services sales grew for the second straight month in March. As reported by the U.S. Census Bureau, retail and food services sales – seasonally adjusted but not adjusted for inflation – grew by 0.7 percent in March, following on an upwardly revised 0.9 percent growth in February. […]

April 5th, 2024 by

by Raymond J. Keating – The latest employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics was strong across the board. The establishment survey estimated that the increase in nonfarm employment payrolls in March 2024 was 303,000, which was the highest since May of last year. Meanwhile, the data from the household survey – which […]

April 2nd, 2024 by

by Raymond J. Keating –  Looking at Gallup’s latest polling on economic confidence, Americans’ overall view on the economy is that things are still bad, but at least improving. As reported: “Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index is at -20 in March, similar to the -22 found in February but sharply higher than the readings near -50 […]

March 29th, 2024 by

by Raymond J. Keating The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis issued its latest report on personal income, and it serves as another reminder that the pain of inflation persists. It was noted that personal income grew by 0.3 percent in February. However, that was matched by PCE (personal consumption expenditures) inflation – which reportedly is […]

March 28th, 2024 by

by Raymond J. Keating –  The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis served up its third estimate, and second revision, of fourth quarter 2023 gross domestic product (GDP) on March 28. After an initial estimate of 3.3 percent real growth, that was revised down to 3.2 percent, and now up to 3.4 percent (seasonally adjusted, annualized […]

March 27th, 2024 by

by Raymond J. Keating –  Given that consumption is the endpoint of the economic process, if you will, it obviously pays to keep an eye on what consumers are thinking, as well as doing. In terms of consumer confidence, the latest read from The Conference Board pointed to overall confidence essentially being unchanged in March […]

March 21st, 2024 by

by Raymond J. Keating – Residential housing is nearly all about small businesses. Among employer firms in the residential building construction sector: ● 92.3 percent have fewer than 10 workers ● 97.3 percent fewer than 20 employees ● 99.7 percent fewer than 100 workers (Based on 2021 U.S. Census Bureau data.) So, when we review […]

March 20th, 2024 by

by Raymond J. Keating – Based on the latest statement from the Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed seems to think that the economy is just ducky. The FOMC statement opens: “Recent indicators suggest that economic activity has been expanding at a solid pace. Job gains have remained strong, and the unemployment rate has remained […]

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