Fact of the Week

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 […]

November 10th, 2023 by

by Raymond J. Keating – Veterans Day is November 11th (marked as a federal holiday this year on November 10th), and it’s the day when we honor those who served in the United States Armed Forces. Given their training in the military and willingness to serve others, it’s not surprising that many veterans wind up […]

November 2nd, 2023 by

by Raymond J. Keating – Regulatory costs are enormous, and negatively impact every person in the nation. At the same time, since most regulatory costs are hidden from consumers, these burdens are more insidious than, for example, various taxes that people can more plainly see. Therefore, politicians are far more apt to take credit for […]

October 26th, 2023 by

by Raymond J. Keating – During recovery/expansion periods, the U.S. economy traditionally grows at nearly 4.5 percent on average. However, outside of the pandemic effects, the U.S. hasn’t experienced growth like that in a long time. So, seeing that real GDP (annualized, seasonally adjusted) grew at an estimated 4.9 percent in the third quarter of […]

October 19th, 2023 by

by Raymond J. Keating – The opening paragraph of the Federal Reserve’s latest Beige Book was another slap in the face on the economy. Consider this, according to the latest take: “Most Districts indicated little to no change in economic activity since the September report.” And this: “The near-term outlook for the economy was generally […]

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