Business Trends

May 4th, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- Given the way that jobs numbers are reported by the media and talked about by politicians early each month, it would be easy to think that the Bureau of Labor Statistics “Employment Situation” report is one unified report. But that is not the case. In reality, what the BLS offers each […]

May 3rd, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- According to the latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, annualized nonfarm labor productivity jumped by 3.6 percent in the first quarter of 2019. That was the best rate of growth since the third quarter of 2014. In fact, the first quarter 2019 report was solid across the board, […]

May 2nd, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- Did the Fed’s take on the economy change via the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) statement released on May 1? Yes and no. First, the Fed upgraded its take on growth. In its March statement, the Fed said that “growth of economic activity has slowed from its solid rate in the […]

April 10th, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- According to the latest estimate from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index jumped up by 0.4 percent in March. That’s a marked step up in CPI inflation from the previous four months in which inflation largely was absent. Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, FRED The […]

April 10th, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- Traditional C corporations are often thought of as big businesses. In reality, the bulk of C corps are small enterprises. And the 2017 business tax reform and relief measure has made the C corp a more appealing organizational structure for more entrepreneurs. Consider that, according to the latest data from the […]

April 4th, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) non-manufacturing index pointed to growth continuing in the services sector, but at a slower pace in March. The index dropped by 3.6 percentage points, from 59.7 percent in February to 56.1 percent in March. Any measure above 50 percent means that the services sector is […]

April 3rd, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating– Some of the news on the economy has become more mixed of late, raising some questions as we look ahead. For example, the latest take on fourth quarter real GDP growth was downgraded to 2.2 percent. That was revised from an earlier 2.6 percent estimate, and marked a slowdown from solid […]

March 31st, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- Due to the government shutdown, the latest news on personal income released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis combined January and February data, but also was incomplete. Here are the few key points from the report: ● Personal income actually declined in January by 0.1 percent. That was the first […]

March 30th, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The latest report on consumer sentiment showed a big jump up for the entire month of March. The University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment increased from 93.8 in February to 98.4 in March. The March level was “slightly above the average of 97.2 recorded in the past 26 months.” Rising […]

March 27th, 2019 by

Growth in housing is always good news for small businesses, as 97.4 percent of employer firms in residential construction have fewer than 20 employees. by Raymond J. Keating- Residential housing continues to be a drag on the economy, as confirmed, once again, in the latest housing permits and starts data from the U.S. Census Bureau. […]

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