Fact of the Week

June 25th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- On the morning of June 25, entrepreneurs, business owners, managers, investors, policymakers and economists received three reports on the state of the economy. More information, of course, is welcome to hopefully gain greater clarity. At the same time, though, uncertainty regarding the coronavirus is working against clarity and in favor of […]

June 17th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau “Monthly New Residential Construction” report, building permits in May were up 14.4 percent compared to April, and housing starts rose by 4.3 percent. Before anyone gets too excited, however, these numbers merely reflect minor, one-month growth given the declines in February, March and especially […]

June 16th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The U.S. Census Bureau reported that U.S. retail and food services sales in May experienced a jump of 17.7 percent. That was a record monthly increase in a dataset going back to 1992. This certainly is a welcome bounce back after declines of 14.7 percent in April, 8.2 percent in March, […]

June 11th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- While the direction – that is, downward – has been welcome in recent weeks, the fact remains that initial weekly jobless claims persist at staggering levels. In the latest report from the U.S. Department of Labor, for the week ending June 6, seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims came in at 1,542,000. […]

June 5th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- On June 5, the Federal Reserve reported consumer credit numbers for April that lined up with the collapse in jobs and consumer spending in March and April. The Fed reported that consumer credit overall declined by a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 19.6 percent in April. That came after a 3.3 […]

May 28th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- New orders for manufactured durable goods plunged in April for the second month in a row, according to the latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau. New orders dropped by 17.2 percent in April, and that followed on a decline of 16.6 percent in March. As noted in the following chart, […]

May 27th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The latest edition of the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book was released on May 27th. Looking at the information, you can unfortunately say that we’re suffering from serious “Beige Book Blues.” Before getting into the information provided, let’s take a moment to note what the Beige Book actually is. It does not […]

May 21st, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- In case you missed it, this week is World Trade Week 2020. And it’s a good time to remind government and elected officials about the importance of trade to the U.S. economy, and that steering U.S. trade policy in a free trade direction will help the economy recover more quickly, and […]

May 14th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The U.S. Department of Labor reported that seasonally adjusted initial weekly unemployment claims registered 2.98 million for the week ending May 9th. That brings the eight week total for COVID-19-related unemployment claims to 36.5 million. The following chart shows how unprecedented the recent initial claims numbers are, even when compared to […]

May 7th, 2020 by

by Raymond J. Keating- Most industries have suffered by the coronavirus pandemic and related shutdown, but all things related to travel have been hit particularly hard. That most certainly includes hotels and motels. A recent report from CNBC noted the average daily rate and revenue per available room took big dives in March, on a […]

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