Business Trends

January 17th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The U.S. Census Bureau’s report on new residential housing construction for December 2019 showed a solid year for housing. In particular, these measures of housing construction – starts and permits – showed strong growth starting mid-2019. Housing starts for December 2019 (seasonally adjusted annual rate) grew dramatically, up by 16.9 percent […]

January 16th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The U.S. Census Bureau reported that retail and food services sales for December 2019 grew by 0.3 percent compared to a month earlier. That was in line with expectations. Looking at further breakdowns, when excluding motor vehicle and parts – which declined by 1.3 percent in December – sales increased by […]

January 16th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The U.S. economy grew at a pretty solid pace from the third quarter of 2017 to the first quarter of 2019, in particular, with real GDP growth topping 3 percent in four of those seven quarters, with another quarter nearly hitting the three percent mark. But growth slowed notably in the […]

January 14th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- United Van Lines released in National Moving Study earlier this month. It tracks where people moved among the states in 2019. And it’s not surprising to take note that net moves were, in part, affected by the costs imposed by government. The study tracks United Van Lines’ customer moves and state-to-state […]

January 9th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The latest report from the Federal Reserve on consumer credit for November lines up with what we saw in the Census Bureau’s retail sales report for the month. As SBE Council noted in an analysis about retail sales for November 2019, they were softer than expected. Likewise, consumer credit was mixed, […]

January 8th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- While the latest ISM manufacturing survey showed that manufacturing activity declined in December, the ISM’s non-manufacturing survey pointed to growth in December for non-manufacturing businesses. Indeed, while economic activity in manufacturing has been declining for the last five months, and has been soft or contracting over the past nine months, according […]

January 8th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis show continued deterioration in terms of those aspects of our economy tied to trade, which, of course, is significant. U.S. exports in November inched up slightly compared to October. But exports have been riding an uneven decline since May 2018. In […]

January 2nd, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- A government mandated minimum wage makes no sense from an economics standpoint. After all, government cannot arbitrarily declare that a certain job is worth X dollars per hour – or that it is worth X dollars more per hour today as opposed to yesterday – without there being consequences. Government fails […]

January 2nd, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- A variety of states, according to the latest release on state population changes from the U.S. Census Bureau, actually lost population in 2019, along with more than half of U.S. states seeing more people flee to other states than coming to their own state (i.e., suffering negative net domestic migration). And […]

December 23rd, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- Eight states – Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, Tennessee and Utah – are scheduled to make positive changes on the income tax front in 2020. In each case, this will be good news for entrepreneurs and small businesses. SBE Council’s “Small Business Policy Index 2019: Ranking the States on […]

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