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Business Trends

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 […]


Fact of the Week: 7 Points on the Federal Budget

By at 11 June, 2015, 1:33 pm

On June 5, the Congressional Budget Office released its latest “Monthly Budget Review” for May of this year. That is, it served up the broad federal revenue and spending numbers through eight months – or two-thirds – of fiscal year 2015. Consider 7 key points on the latest data and the trend in the budget: […]


MARCO RUBIO: A Small Business Snapshot on the Issues

By at 5 June, 2015, 3:39 pm

Senator Marco Rubio (R) announced his candidacy for president on April 13. Where does the senator from Florida stand on key small business issues? In his announcement speech, Senator Rubio said, “If we reform our tax code, reduce regulations, control spending, modernize our immigration laws and repeal and replace ObamaCare, the American people will create […]


Wellness Programs: What Small Business Needs to Know

By at 3 June, 2015, 9:36 pm

By Barbara Weltman- The person who coined the saying that “no good deed goes unpunished” must have had wellness programs in mind. Companies that want to encourage employees to maintain good health can adopt wellness programs. However, unless these programs conform to government requirements, companies can be exposed to government penalties or employee lawsuits. So […]


RAND PAUL: A Small Business Snapshot on the Issues

By at 2 June, 2015, 6:38 pm

Senator Rand Paul (R) announced his candidacy for president on April 7. Where does the senator from Kentucky stand on key small business issues? In a statement on his campaign website, Senator Paul says, “I am running for president to return our country to the principles of liberty and limited government.” Here’s a quick rundown […]


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