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Business Trends

Solid Pro-Small Business Reforms Advance in U.S. House to Improve Capital Access

By at 21 July, 2015, 3:20 pm

by Karen Kerrigan- Access to capital and streamlining and reducing government paperwork are two priority issues for entrepreneurs and small businesses. So it was great to see eight pieces of bipartisan legislation focused on these important areas pass the U.S. House by a voice vote during the week of July 13. On July 13, four […]


HILLARY CLINTON: A Small Business Snapshot on the Issues

By at 20 July, 2015, 5:30 pm

Former Secretary of State and Senator Hillary Clinton (D) announced her candidacy for president on April 12. Where does Mrs. Clinton stand on key small business issues? On the campaign trail Clinton said, “I want to be the president for small business.” She talks about the growth of regulation and red tape, as well as […]


JEB BUSH: A Small Business Snapshot on the Issues

By at 20 July, 2015, 2:28 pm

Jeb Bush, former Republican governor of Florida (1999 to 2007), announced his candidacy for president on June 15, 2015. Where does Governor Bush stand on key small business issues? In his announcement speech, Bush declared, “We made Florida number one in job creation and number one in small business creation.” On his official campaign website, […]


Trade Numbers Down, But There’s Hope

By at 7 July, 2015, 12:00 pm

The Bureau of Economic Analysis just released trade data for May. The latest month’s data, and the trend, remain quite troubling. Specifically, declines in both exports and imports reflect the weak state of the economy. EXPORTS DOWN On the export side of the trade equation, exports fell in May, after a two-month increase. But exports […]


FACT OF THE WEEK: Chicago PMI Still Contracting

By at 2 July, 2015, 12:26 pm

The Chicago Business Barometer (also known as the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index, or Chicago PMI), released on June 30 by MNI and the Institute for Supply Management, improved from May, but stayed in contraction for the second consecutive month, and has been below 50 (the mark between expansion and contraction) for four months in 2015, […]


June Jobs Data: 6 Major Problems

By at 2 July, 2015, 12:18 pm

by Raymond J. Keating- Be skeptical of some of the joyous headlines you might be seeing in the media about strong job creation. Yes, there was job growth in June. But the employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released on July 2 is packed with troubling data. The establishment (or payroll) […]


The Ills of Relying on Monetary Policy: 5 Big Worries

By at 1 July, 2015, 10:15 am

by Raymond J. Keating- The Bank for International Settlement (BIS), which is an organization of central banks, released its 85th Annual Report on Sunday, June 28. And it wisely raises questions and concerns about how reliant economic policymakers have become on monetary policy. That certainly has been the case in the United States since the […]


Key Points on Personal Income

By at 25 June, 2015, 7:27 pm

Personal income was up in May. That’s good news. But the data also must be put into perspective. by Raymond J. Keating- On June 25, the Bureau of Economic Analysis released its May measure of personal income. Consider these four key points: 1.  Real personal income (excluding transfer receipts) in May was up 0.3 percent, […]


Durable Goods Down

By at 24 June, 2015, 7:26 am

On June 23, the Census Bureau released its advance report on durable goods. Durable goods orders are widely watched, as they are considered a leading indicator of manufacturing activity. The topline numbers were negative. New orders for May were down by 1.8 percent. Given that big swings in defense and transportation orders can distort what’s […]


Three Points from the Fed’s Statement

By at 18 June, 2015, 7:30 pm

by Raymond J. Keating- Since the start of this year, at least, much speculation has swirled about when the Federal Reserve would finally increase short-term interest rates. To paraphrase Shakespeare, it’s much ado about nothing. Actually, that would be a best-case assessment. The Federal Open Market Committee served up assorted points on the economy and […]


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