Business Trends

August 15th, 2023 by

by Raymond J. Keating – The latest retail sales report from the U.S. Census Bureau was good news. Retail and food services sales increased by 0.7 percent in July, and growth was revised up slightly for June. The big gainers in July were: ● Nonstore (mainly online) retailers at +1.9 percent ● Sporting goods, hobby, […]

August 10th, 2023 by

by Raymond J. Keating – Inflation continues to ease, with the release of the latest Consumer Price Index report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. CPI inflation registered 0.2 percent in July (on a seasonally adjusted basis). Over the past three months, annualized inflation ran at roughly 2 percent, and over the past six […]

August 9th, 2023 by

by Raymond J. Keating – The latest U.S. trade data are deeply troubling. The first estimate of GDP (i.e., gross domestic product) for the second quarter saw real exports plunge by 10.8 percent (annualized, seasonally adjusted). For good measure, real imports declined by 7.8 percent. The trade report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, […]

July 20th, 2023 by

by Raymond J. Keating –  After a big move up in May, housing starts dropped by 8.0 percent in June (on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate), according to the latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau. The May increase, as seen in the following chart, registered 15.7 percent, after declines in eight of the previous […]

July 18th, 2023 by

by Raymond J. Keating – When talking retail, you’re talking small business. For example, in the retail trade sector, 98.4 percent of employer firms have fewer than 100 employees, according to the most recent Census Bureau data (2020). Therefore, when the latest retail sales numbers come out, this is a small business story. The U.S. […]

July 18th, 2023 by

SMALL BUSINESS INSIDER by Raymond J. Keating –  New business applications not only continued to run at solid levels in June 2023, but the monthly growth rate was particularly strong, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Total business applications (i.e., “the business applications for tax IDs as indicated by applications for […]

July 12th, 2023 by

by Raymond J. Keating –  The taming of inflation over the past year has been important. No, the fight isn’t over, but the gains over the past 12 months should be recognized. After all, inflation is, in effect, a tax that creates uncertainty, diminishes returns on investment, and raises costs for entrepreneurs, businesses, workers, and […]

July 8th, 2023 by

by Raymond J. Keating –  According to the latest purchasing managers indices from the Institute for Supply Management, we’re experiencing a deeply split economy, with manufacturing contracting and services growing. The ISM’s Manufacturing PMI registered 46 percent in June, which was the eighth consecutive month indicating a shrinking manufacturing sector in our economy. Source: Institute […]

July 7th, 2023 by

by Raymond J. Keating – The June employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics served up respectable and resilient numbers. The establishment report pointed to nonfarm payrolls increasing by 209,000 in June versus May, and the household survey (which better captures startup and small business activity) saw an increase of 273,000. I use […]

July 6th, 2023 by

by Raymond J. Keating –  In the first quarter of this year, the economy grew in all 50 states, according to the latest estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Highs and Lows of GDP in the States While real U.S. GDP (gross domestic product, or the market value of all goods and services […]

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