Fact of the Week

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 […]

February 24th, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- On February 21, the U.S. Census Bureau released its durable goods report for December. Durable goods orders in December increased by 1.2 percent. For the entire year, durable goods orders showed strength, with orders up by 8.1 percent in 2018 versus 2017. In December, big gains came on the transportation front […]

February 16th, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- On February 15, the Federal Reserve reported that industrial production – the output of the nation’s industrial sectors, i.e., manufacturing, mining and utilities – declined in January by 0.6 percent. Manufacturing output, which makes up about 75 percent of production, declined by 0.9 percent. The big negative was in motor vehicle […]

February 14th, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on February 13th that the Consumer Price Index was unchanged in January. That is, CPI inflation was flat in January. In fact, inflation has been nonexistent for three straight months, i.e., 0 percent in each of the past three months. Over the past year, […]

February 12th, 2019 by

Small Business Insider by Raymond J. Keating- The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that in December 2018, job openings hit 7.3 million. That’s an all-time high for a data set that began in 2000. Also during December, hires registered 5.9 million, with separations (i.e., including quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations) coming […]

February 1st, 2019 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The latest employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the jobs picture in the U.S. continues to be outstanding. First, nonfarm payrolls, based on the establishment survey, grew by a robust 304,000. Employment growth registered across many industries, including professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, construction, […]

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