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Business Trends

FACT OF THE WEEK: July CPI, the Fed, and the Inflation Curve

By at 19 August, 2014, 10:46 am

In July, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for All Urban Consumers, a standard gauge of inflation, cooled as compared to recent months. CPI rose 0.1 percent for the month. That was the slowest rise since February, as CPI inflation ran at 0.2 percent in March, 0.3 percent in April, 0.4 percent in May and 0.3 […]

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The Latest Look at Bank Lending from Fed Survey

By at 18 August, 2014, 3:36 pm

by Raymond J. Keating- Earlier this month, the Federal Reserve released its latest “Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices.” This survey provides some insights as to the state of bank lending to businesses. In general, this a “good news” report, given that is shows improvements in lending standards and increased loan demand. […]

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U.S. Energy Exports: A Big Economic Plus

By at 13 August, 2014, 7:57 pm

by Raymond J. Keating- More exports are good news for the U.S. economy, as they generally feed stronger U.S. economic, income and employment growth. Almost everyone understands the facts of economic life on exports. The positives of rising exports apply to energy as well. And since the U.S. has been transformed in recent years, due […]

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Can Hawaii Make History in Both Politics and Policy?

By at 13 August, 2014, 7:36 pm

by Raymond J. Keating- In any state, it’s pretty rare to see a sitting governor get ousted by his own party in a primary. But that’s exactly what happened to Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie, a Democrat. In fact, when State Sen. David Ige defeated Abercrombie on August 9, history was made, as no governor in […]

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The Latest Consumer Credit Numbers and the Economy

By at 8 August, 2014, 1:17 pm

by Raymond J. Keating- What ultimately drives economic growth? Is it consumer and government spending? That is, are the demand-side Keynesians right? Or, is growth driven by risk taking, that is, by entrepreneurship and investment disciplined by competition and consumer choices in the marketplace? That is, are supply-side economists right? Looking at foundational economic principles […]

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FACT OF THE WEEK: Productivity and Investment

By at 8 August, 2014, 1:04 pm

The health of the U.S. economy comes down to the vitality of private-sector risk taking, that is, entrepreneurship and investment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics released second quarter productivity data on August 8. Nonfarm business sector labor productivity grew by 2.5 percent. That’s a healthy clip, until it is put in perspective with a decline […]

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Pirates and Illegal Downloaders to Small Business: You’re Expendable

By at 6 August, 2014, 5:12 pm

by Raymond J. Keating- Call it a guilty pleasure, but I liked the first two “Expendables” movies. That’s right, count me in when getting some older action stars together in a movie to blow stuff up and kick some butt. So, I’m looking forward to “The Expendables 3,” which is scheduled to land in theaters […]

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Entrepreneurship Key to Opportunity and Wealth Creation in America

By at 6 August, 2014, 10:21 am

By Karen Kerrigan- A new analysis by the Tax Foundation affirms the importance of entrepreneurship and the need for greater startup activity in America. Entrepreneurial activity has yet to fully rebound from pre-recession levels. In fact, according to data from the Department of Labor, self-employment in June 2014 reached its lowest level since 1986. The […]

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Challenges and Opportunities on Trade

By at 9 July, 2014, 2:52 pm

by Raymond J. Keating- The importance of trade to the U.S. economy should not be underestimated. From 2000 to 2013, for example, the growth in real U.S. exports equaled 23 percent of the growth in real GDP, and the expansion in real total trade (i.e., exports plus imports) came in at 44 percent of real […]

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Consumer Credit and the State of the Economy

By at 9 July, 2014, 2:46 pm

by Raymond J. Keating- There’s a great temptation to look at indicators of consumer spending and borrowing as the measures that lead or matter most to the economy. In reality, consumers are followers. That is, consumers take their signals from the health, well-being or growth of entrepreneurship, business, investment and job creation. Quite simply, if […]

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