Fact of the Week

April 3rd, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The decline of 710,000 in nonfarm employment, as noted by the establishment survey in the Bureau of Labor Statistics “Employment Situation” report, was bad enough, but when you crawl just a bit further inside the report, the jobs picture for March grows even grimmer. In the early reporting on this report, […]

March 20th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- In order to limit the coronavirus, government effectively has shut down significant chunks of the U.S. economy. And as the economic effects and assorted policies are discussed and debated, it pays to keep in mind that the U.S. very much is a small business economy. The latest data on the number […]

March 12th, 2020 by

Low inflation is a foundational matter that will help weather whatever economic storms lie ahead by Raymond J. Keating- The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 0.1 percent in February, and over the past 12 months, inflation ran at 2.3 percent. For the past seven months, in particular, […]

March 5th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the U.S. labor force has been on the rise over the past two years. However, that doesn’t mean that this positive development has held across the entire country. For example, the BLS “Regional and State Unemployment – 2019 Annual Averages” […]

February 29th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released a positive personal income report for January 2020 on February 28. The topline story noted that personal income grew by 0.6 percent in January, with disposable income (i.e., personal income less personal current taxes) also up by 0.6 percent and real disposable income grew […]

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, […]

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