Business Trends

October 27th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- Durable goods manufacturers’ orders increased by 1.9 percent in September, according to the latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau. That marked the fifth monthly increase in a row, after the large declines in March and April (see chart below). However, as of September year to date, new orders were down […]

October 23rd, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- Economic growth requires robust entrepreneurship. In fact, when you look at underperforming economic growth that ran from 2007 through 2019, one underlying cause was the stagnation or decline in levels of entrepreneurship. And then of course, the COVID-19 pandemic and government-related shutdowns hit in 2020. How hard has small business been […]

October 22nd, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The Federal Reserve released the latest edition of its Beige Book, and the general take on the economy is that growth is occurring across all Fed districts. That’s the good news. More troubling is the Fed’s classifying such growth as “slight to modest in most Districts.” That’s not what we want […]

October 21st, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The pandemic and related government shutdowns obviously have taken a heavy toll in terms of lost businesses and jobs. The question looking ahead is: When will a real recovery take hold and accelerate? The answer depends on a host of factors, including the state of pandemic, achieving vaccines and therapeutics, and […]

October 20th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- In this time of uncertainty, the housing business stands out as a major positive. For example, on Monday, October 19, it was reported that the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index hit an all-time high of 85 in October. After September’s 83 index measure, these are the first […]

October 16th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The latest report on retail sales released on October 16 from the U.S. Census Bureau showed that monthly sales for retail and food service establishments continued to slowly climb back in September. Of course, retail sales plunged in March and April, and then bounced back notably in May and June. Growth […]

October 8th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- It bears repeating that the U.S. economy is a small business economy. More than 99 percent of businesses are small-to-medium-sized firms with less than 500 workers, and small businesses employ about 48 percent of private-sector workers, and account for two-thirds of net new jobs. Therefore, the well-being of small businesses during […]

October 5th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The two latest takes on the services sector of the U.S. economy released on October 5 point to welcome news. First, the IHS Markit U.S. Services PMI report noted optimism thanks to new business formations. It was noted: “September PMI data signaled a solid upturn in U.S. service sector business activity, […]

October 1st, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- According to the latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the story on employment by metropolitan areas across the nation ranges from treading water to pretty much sinking. Given how bad this pandemic economy has been, it’s somewhat surprising that in 135 out of 389 metropolitan areas across the […]

September 17th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- A major area of the economy that has bounced back impressively since the first months of this pandemic has been housing. After three months of strong growth, the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau points to a housing construction taking a breather in August. Well, kind of, given that the […]

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