Fact of the Week

May 10th, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released its latest estimates on real GDP growth in the states – for the fourth quarter 2018 and for all of 2018 – early this month. What might strike some people unfamiliar with these numbers is how much growth varies across the U.S. For example, […]

May 2nd, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- Did the Fed’s take on the economy change via the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) statement released on May 1? Yes and no. First, the Fed upgraded its take on growth. In its March statement, the Fed said that “growth of economic activity has slowed from its solid rate in the […]

May 1st, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The U.S. Census Bureau recently released its latest population estimates for counties across the nation. The numbers point to an interesting, and predictable, development in terms of people – at least in part – seeking out greater economic opportunity. Consider population changes in the four largest U.S. states – California, Texas, […]

April 19th, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- Retail sales bounced back nicely in March, after a stretch of several sluggish months. This was the largest monthly gain since September of 2017, and it beat market expectations. As reported by the Census Bureau, U.S. retail and food service sales grew by 1.6 percent in March. That was up from […]

April 5th, 2019 by

  by Raymond J. Keating- The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ employment report for March continued a pattern of mixed jobs data in the very early months of 2019. The establishment survey showed that payrolls for March grew by 196,000, which was a big bounce back from the gain of only 33,000 in February. The […]

April 4th, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) non-manufacturing index pointed to growth continuing in the services sector, but at a slower pace in March. The index dropped by 3.6 percentage points, from 59.7 percent in February to 56.1 percent in March. Any measure above 50 percent means that the services sector is […]

March 30th, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The latest report on consumer sentiment showed a big jump up for the entire month of March. The University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment increased from 93.8 in February to 98.4 in March. The March level was “slightly above the average of 97.2 recorded in the past 26 months.” Rising […]

March 27th, 2019 by

Growth in housing is always good news for small businesses, as 97.4 percent of employer firms in residential construction have fewer than 20 employees. by Raymond J. Keating- Residential housing continues to be a drag on the economy, as confirmed, once again, in the latest housing permits and starts data from the U.S. Census Bureau. […]

March 17th, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- According to the latest report from the Federal Reserve, industrial production – that is, the real output of the manufacturing, mining, and electric and gas utilities – performed poorly during the first two months of 2019. Overall industrial production inched forward by 0.1 percent in February, which followed on a decline […]

March 8th, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The mix of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) February jobs report was, well, mixed. First, the establishment survey showed a gain of only 20,000 in payrolls. That meant February took a breather from the strong payroll gains experienced in six of the previous nine months. Following revisions […]

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