Business Trends

July 11th, 2024 by

by Raymond J. Keating – When inflation runs hot – as it has been doing since early 2021 – it also tends to be quite volatile from month to month. As a result, trends tend to be more important than the latest monthly number. Plus, one always has to keep in mind the warning that […]

June 27th, 2024 by

by Rieva Lesonsky –  What’s in store (literally and figuratively) for this year’s holiday shopping season? Salesforce just released its 2024 holiday shopping predictions. Consumers are buying less (but paying more due to inflation and, in my opinion, a bit of corporate greed) and seeking value. In a recent post, Salesforce named its five top holiday […]

June 25th, 2024 by

by Raymond J. Keating – According to The Conference Board’s latest read, consumer confidence edged down in June. And the divergence between Consumer Confidence Index’s two components – i.e., the Present Situation Index and the Expectations Index – persisted. The Consumer Confidence Index moved down from 101.3 in May to 100.4 in June (1985 = […]

June 23rd, 2024 by

by Raymond J. Keating – If you haven’t been paying attention to policy changes in the state of Georgia, here’s an important change that you might have missed: The state legislature and Governor Brian Kemp have made tax changes that are pro-entrepreneur, pro-investment and pro-growth. After shifting to a flat tax at the start of […]

June 22nd, 2024 by

by Raymond J. Keating – Residential housing construction overwhelming is an industry about small businesses. For example, based on the latest Census Bureau data (2021), in the residential building construction sector: ● 92.3 percent of employer firms have fewer than 10 employees ● 97.3 percent fewer than 20 ● 99.7 percent have fewer than 100 […]

June 19th, 2024 by

by Raymond J. Keating –  As SBE Council has noted before, the industrial sector of our economy, in particular, manufacturing, has faced difficulties for some time now. So, the solid industrial production report from the Federal Reserve for May is appreciated. After two rough months, industrial production – that is, the actual physical output of […]

June 12th, 2024 by

by Raymond J. Keating – The Consumer Price Index (CPI) report for May 2024 is my kind of inflation report. Unfortunately, it’s just one month, and when inflation runs hot, it also tends to be volatile from month to month. Nonetheless, the May number from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics was most welcome. In […]

June 7th, 2024 by

by Raymond J. Keating – The latest employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics served up some mixed numbers. The headline number was fine. That is, the BLS establishment survey pointed to nonfarm payroll employment increasing by a solid 272,000 in May. However, the report’s household survey – a more comprehensive measure that […]

June 5th, 2024 by

by Raymond J. Keating – The Institute for Supply Management’s purchasing managers indexes pointed to manufacturing contracting, again, in May, while services bounced back from a decline in April to growth in May. The latest ISM Manufacturing PMI pointed to the grim stretch on U.S. manufacturing having continued in May 2024. The manufacturing PMI came […]

June 3rd, 2024 by

by Karen Kerrigan –  On May 22, the House Small Business Committee released a report following a 15-month long staff investigation into federal agency compliance – or lack thereof – with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). The RFA is designed to protect small businesses from the effects and unintended consequences of federal regulation. Upon release […]

News and Media Releases