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Business Trends

To Get Competitive, U.S. Has Much Work Ahead on Taxes and Regulations

By at 19 September, 2014, 1:02 pm

by Raymond J. Keating- When starting up, investing in and running a business, assorted costs, risks and uncertainties threaten to undermine the enterprise. Among those costs are governmental policies gone awry, including taxes and regulations. Two new studies drive home the huge challenge that entrepreneurs, businesses and investors face in the U.S. when it comes […]


U.S. Oil Production Keeps Improving And Creating Big Savings

By at 19 September, 2014, 12:22 pm

by Raymond J. Keating- Thanks to private-sector investment and innovation in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling opening up shale oil and gas resources, the news just keeps getting better regarding the outlook for U.S. domestic energy production. For example, consider key points on oil production in the latest Short Term Energy Outlook from the U.S. […]


4 Things That Depress Me About the Federal Reserve

By at 18 September, 2014, 2:39 pm

by Raymond J. Keating- The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) released its latest statement on monetary policy on September 17. That release reminded me of four reasons why the Fed depresses me. 1)    The Fed has taken us to a place we’ve never been before. It is an astounding six years now that the Federal […]


America’s Entrepreneurial Decline

By at 11 September, 2014, 5:42 pm

by Karen Kerrigan- For quite some time, SBE Council has been reporting on the weak state of entrepreneurship in America.  The trend was evident  in our monthly readout of the job numbers, and other data on U.S. business formation.  We are thrilled the House Small Business Committee, Subcommittee on Contracting and the Workforce, hosted an […]


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 […]


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. […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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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