Fact of the Week

March 10th, 2022 by

by Raymond J. Keating – The tightness of the labor market was made clear in the latest “Job Openings and Labor Turnover” report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even with the data basically unchanged in January, both the level of job openings and quits remained quite high. The following chart shows total nonfarm […]

March 4th, 2022 by

by Raymond J. Keating – The February employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics hit all the points on the checklist. It ranked as a robust month for job growth. First, the establishment survey estimated that nonfarm payroll employment increased by 678,000 in February. Second, the household survey, which tends to better capture […]

March 1st, 2022 by

by Raymond J. Keating – While assorted challenges persist, the latest purchasing managers surveys point to manufacturing at least moving in the right direction in February. The IHS Markit Manufacturing PMI reported “a stronger improvement in operating conditions midway through the opening quarter of 2022.” Some of the good news was summed up this way: […]

February 8th, 2022 by

by Raymond J. Keating – In its latest report on consumer credit outstanding, the Federal Reserve reported that consumer credit continued to expand through the end of 2021. Specfically: ● Revolving credit (mainly, credit cards) increased by 2.4 percent (at an annualized, seasonally adjusted rate) in December and by 10.9 percent in the fourth quarter. […]

February 3rd, 2022 by

by Raymond J. Keating – In the latest report on metropolitan area employment from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unevenness of the jobs recovery again became clear. While the differing depths of job losses need to be kept in mind, it is worth noting that from December 2020 to December 2021, 108 metropolitan […]

January 28th, 2022 by

by Raymond J. Keating – The latest “Personal Income and Outlays” report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis offers no good news, as inflation turns everything negative. The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index is a measure of inflation that tends to get close attention from the Federal Reserve. In December 2021, PCE index […]

January 19th, 2022 by

by Raymond J. Keating – The housing data for December 2021 presented by the U.S. Census Bureau provides more evidence for how changes in tax policy affect business decision-making. Building permits for privately-owned housing units (seasonally adjusted annual rate) increased by 9.1 percent in December versus November. However, that increase included a 111.9 percent increase […]

January 14th, 2022 by

by Raymond J. Keating – There’s no getting around or spinning the Census Bureau’s retail and food services sales report for December 2021: It’s bad. Retail and food services sales for December declined by 1.9 percent compared to the previous month. Nearly all major sales categories were down, including nonstore (mainly e-commerce) retail, which was […]

January 12th, 2022 by

by Raymond J. Keating – The minimum wage is one of very few issues where most economists are in agreement, specifically, that an increased minimum wage mandate by government leads to reduced job opportunities for certain groups of workers, and increased costs for labor-intensive businesses, with small businesses getting hit hardest. While the push persists […]

January 6th, 2022 by

by Raymond J. Keating – When a global pandemic hits, trade naturally is going to suffer. At the same time, trade remains vital to the well-being of American entrepreneurs, businesses, workers and consumers. So, we need a strong recovery and growth in both exports and imports. Unfortunately, that has not been the case so far. […]

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