Fact of the Week

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 […]

November 16th, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating There was nothing positive in the Federal Reserve’s latest report on industrial production, as the recent skid in industrial production, including manufacturing output, got worse. Industrial production (i.e., the real output of the manufacturing, mining, and electric and gas utilities) in October declined by a whopping 0.8 percent, and that came […]

November 13th, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- Entrepreneurs are a positive, resilient bunch, and that was made clear, once again, in the latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey. Gallup reported that “the overall index is at +142, up from +136 in July and +129 in April. The index is a measure of owners’ present and future optimism […]

November 7th, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased 0.3 percent in the third quarter of 2019. At the same time, it must be noted that productivity changes can be quite volatile form quarter to quarter. This third quarter decline comes after two robust quarterly […]

October 26th, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The U.S. Census Bureau’s September durable goods report indicates that business investment continued to perform poorly in September and throughout the third quarter. Keep in mind that overall private investment declined in the second quarter of this year. That included declining fixed nonresidential (business) investment. And equipment investment declined in the […]

October 18th, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- Housing data tends to be volatile from month to month and frequently subject to substantial revisions. After big jumps in both housing starts and permits in August, the latest housing report from the U.S. Census Bureau showed declines in September. That being the case, it is worth noting that builder confidence […]

News and Media Releases