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Business Trends

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 […]


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 […]


Five Key Points on June Jobs Data

By at 3 July, 2014, 11:32 am

Well, we finally got a rare solid month on the jobs front in terms of both the government’s establishment (payroll) and household surveys. However, the continuing and very troubling decline in self-employment continued. Consider five key points on the jobs numbers: 1) PAYROLLS UP: The establishment survey showed that payrolls for June increased by 288,000. […]


Who are the Happiest Entrepreneurs in America?

By at 28 June, 2014, 8:08 am

by Karen Kerrigan- According to a new GEM Report from Babson College and Baruch College, the answer is “established women business owners.” The yearly GEM report provides a comprehensive look at entrepreneurship on a global level over time (15 years thus far.) Other highlights from the report include: Nearly 13 percent of the U.S. population […]


That Incredibly Shrinking First Quarter GDP

By at 26 June, 2014, 5:39 pm

Real GDP growth just keeps shrinking. Actually, it’s more accurate to say that the decline in real GDP during the first quarter keeps getting larger with each revision. When the Bureau of Economic Analysis released it’s first estimate of real GDP growth for the first quarter of 2014, it registered 0.1 percent. The second revision […]


Iraq and U.S. Energy Policies

By at 20 June, 2014, 8:35 am

by Raymond J. Keating- The fighting in Iraq has translated into an increase – though a relatively small increase, for now – in the price of oil, moving from a little over $102 a barrel (WTI) to just over $106. It’s worth taking a moment to look at Iraq and its oil production, and taking […]


The Fed’s Statement and Economic Outlook

By at 19 June, 2014, 3:39 pm

by Raymond J. Keating- Based on the Federal Open Market Committee’s statement released on June 18, the Fed remains blissfully unconcerned about any possible threat of inflation. Indeed, it clearly stated that loose money is continuing and will continue: “Beginning in July, the Committee will add to its holdings of agency mortgage-backed securities at a […]


The Latest Inflation Data and What its Means for Small Business and the Economy

By at 17 June, 2014, 6:16 pm

On June 17, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) offered the first look at consumer price inflation in May. CPI inflation jumped by 0.4 percent, which was the fastest monthly increase since February 2013. In fact, CPI inflation has now accelerated for three consecutive months – moving from 0.1 percent in February to 0.2 […]


The TPP Agenda: Let’s Get Some Growth Going

By at 16 June, 2014, 1:30 pm

by Raymond J. Keating- Trade negotiators from the 12 nations involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement are scheduled to meet on July 3 in Vancouver, according to a report. It also was noted: “It is now widely seen that the actual time limit for completing a TPP deal is before November, when the […]


Underutilized Mobile Technologies Add Up to $52 Billion in Lost Savings for Small Businesses

By at 29 May, 2014, 2:50 pm

By Karen Kerrigan- The latest SBE Council Technology & IP analysis by chief economist Ray Keating revisits the AT&T and SBE Council Mobile Technology Survey, which found that advancements and investments in mobile technologies and devices have created significant benefits for small businesses – nearly $124 billion in savings. The survey estimated hour and dollar […]


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