Fact of the Week

February 27th, 2024 by

by Raymond J. Keating – There’s not much too latch onto that’s positive in the latest durable goods report from the U.S. Census Bureau. Indeed, this is not a pretty picture of new orders for manufactured durable goods in January. The topline number showed that durable goods orders plummeted by 6.1 percent in January, and […]

February 15th, 2024 by

by Raymond J. Keating – The latest retail sales report from the U.S. Census Bureau was sobering. Retail and food services sales (seasonally adjusted) for January 2024 declined by 0.8 percent compared to December. For good measure, December sales were revised down from +0.6 percent to +0.4 percent. Compared to a year earlier, retail and […]

February 1st, 2024 by

….Manufacturing Troubles Persist by Raymond J. Keating – Productivity is one of those important economic measures that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. After all, labor productivity affects business profitability, worker earnings and economic growth. In terms of definitions, labor productivity is output per hour, and is arrived at by dividing an index of real […]

January 26th, 2024 by

by Raymond J. Keating – U.S. personal income growth slowed in December, while consumption saw a strong increase, according to the latest personal income report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Inflation as measured by the PCE (personal consumption expenditures) index, ran at 0.2 percent in December. Therefore, the nominal gain of 0.3 percent […]

January 25th, 2024 by

by Raymond J. Keating – U.S. real GDP for 2023 closed on a pretty solid note in the fourth quarter, although economic growth for the entire year meant that 2023 ranked as another under-performer. Before diving into some of the key data from the latest GDP report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, let’s […]

January 18th, 2024 by

by Raymond J. Keating – Homebuilding is about small businesses. Based on the latest (2021) data from the U.S. Census Bureau, for example, 99.7 percent of employer firms in the residential building construction sector have fewer than 100 employees, with 97.3 percent having fewer than 20 workers. So, whenever we look at the latest housing […]

January 9th, 2024 by

by Raymond J. Keating – As I explained in an SBE Council analysis, the latest employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics presented two stories on the state of the labor market in December 2023 – one generally positive and the other distinctly negative. Given this mixed, at best, data, and the importance […]

December 5th, 2023 by

by Raymond J. Keating –  According to readings from the Institute for Supply Management’s purchasing managers’ indexes, the U.S. economy continues to suffer a notable divide. On the one hand, the ISM Manufacturing PMI indicated that the manufacturing recession continued in November, extending a manufacturing contraction to 13 consecutive months. On the other hand, the […]

December 1st, 2023 by

by Raymond J. Keating – The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released an improved personal income report for October. The topline growth rate of 0.2 percent in personal income in October actually slowed from the previous three months. But that is a nominal growth rate, and PCE (personal consumption expenditures) inflation was nonexistent in […]

November 28th, 2023 by

by Raymond J. Keating – The latest report on consumer confidence from the Conference Board pointed to a small uptick in November. The index registered 102.0 (1985=100), which was up from 99.1 in October, which had been revised down. However, as the Conference Board noted, this was hardly a clear improvement in consumer views: “The Present […]

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