Business Trends

August 28th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The news on the unemployment claims front offers more data points and trends again confirming that the U.S. economy continues to struggle. The U.S. Department of Labor reported that initial jobless claims remained above 1 million for the week ending August 22, coming in at 1,006,000 (seasonally adjusted). That was down […]

August 25th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index took a dive in August for the second straight month. The Index in August came in at 84.8 (1985=100), which was down from 91.7 in July and 98.1 in June. The May measure had registered 85.9, which was little changed from April’s 86.9. The Index […]

August 19th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- We all could use some good news during this pandemic and tough economy. Well, check out the new housing data. The latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau points to strength in the housing building sector. Specifically, both housing starts and permits grew robustly in July, expanded for the third straight […]

August 19th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- Each year, Gallup releases a poll tracking what Americans think about key institutions. The latest survey was released last week (on August 12), and small business ranks number one. Each institution is ranked according to high levels of confidence – specifically, “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence. Let’s […]

August 14th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The industrial sector of the U.S. economy, of course, has been hit hard by the pandemic and shutdowns. And that includes manufacturing. But the latest industrial production (i.e., the actual output of the manufacturing, mining and utility sectors of our economy) numbers show that American industry continues to fight, trying to […]

August 14th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- According to the latest retails sales report from the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. retail and food services sales continued to recover in July, but at a slower pace. Retail and food services sales increased by 1.2 percent in July. That was down markedly from growth of 8.4 percent in June and […]

August 13th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- When a measure of the economy remains deep in negative territory but at a rate not as bad as previous weeks, as is the case with the latest report on initial unemployment claims from the U.S. Department of Labor, we need to be careful not to report it as good news. […]

August 12th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- When the Consumer Price Index (CPI) spikes by 0.6 percent in two separate, consecutive months, that normally would be a case for deep concern, or even panic. After all, that would point to inflation running at a 7.2 percent annualized rate. Yikes. But these are not normal times, and this two-month […]

August 7th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The coronavirus and related shutdowns destroyed jobs at a breathtaking rate in March and April, and the latest jobs data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on August 7 indicate that the effort to regain jobs continued to slog forward for the third straight month in July. However, the […]

August 6th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- Coming in at 1,186,000 for the week ending August 1, one cannot say that initial jobless claims improved. While this was the lowest level of initial claims since the pandemic hit the U.S. in March, all we can really say is that this latest number was still bad, but less bad […]

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