Fact of the Week

February 13th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- One of the policy negatives working against economic growth that few have been talking about of late is federal government spending. Specifically, federal outlays jumped substantially higher in fiscal year 2019, which ended at the close of September, and are projected to make another big jump during the current 2020 budget […]

February 6th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The monthly takes on the economy offered by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) point to continued modest growth in the economy – estimated at roughly 2.4 percent – during the first month of 2020. The ISM report on manufacturing for January came in at 50.9 percent. That was up from […]

January 30th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) statement released on January 29 left the federal funds rate unchanged at a range of 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent, and left the Fed’s mixed take on the economy in place as well. However, other recent changes by the Fed are cause for some concern. […]

January 27th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ new report on state employment shows that job growth in the states cooled at the close of 2019. Let’s look at three key takeaways from this report. First, compared to the previous month, only three states experienced employment growth in December – Texas, Washington and […]

January 9th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The latest report from the Federal Reserve on consumer credit for November lines up with what we saw in the Census Bureau’s retail sales report for the month. As SBE Council noted in an analysis about retail sales for November 2019, they were softer than expected. Likewise, consumer credit was mixed, […]

January 3rd, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- As I have noted previously, manufacturing hit a recession in 2019, and based on the latest ISM manufacturing survey, that recession continued into December. This is a small business story given that 74.7 percent of manufacturers have fewer than 20 employees and 93.5 percent fewer than 100 workers. The Institute for […]

December 20th, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- Christmas is upon us! And a big part of the celebration features gift-giving, holiday arrangements, dinner outings and family meals at home. America’s small businesses play a major role in almost every facet of the holiday. Small businesses make-up the lion’s share of firms in the industries central to our Christmas […]

December 13th, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- According to the FOMC statement released on December 11, the federal funds rate was left unchanged at a targeted range of 1‑1/2 to 1-3/4 percent. The Fed described the labor market as “strong” and economic growth as “moderate.” Breaking growth down a bit further, the Fed summed up: “Although household spending […]

December 5th, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- Are you a real tree or an artificial tree family at Christmas time? If your family opts for the real tree, the National Christmas Tree Association serves up all kinds of information about real Christmas trees. For example: ●  “There are approximately 25-30 million Real Christmas Trees sold in the U.S. […]

November 19th, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The latest housing report from the U.S. Census Bureau pointed to a bounce back in housing starts for October, and a positive stretch in both housing starts and permits since earlier this year. On housing starts (seasonally adjust annual rate), it was noted: “Privately‐owned housing starts in October were at a […]

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