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Business Trends

The Troubling Downward Trend in Industrial Production

By at 18 May, 2015, 9:32 pm

One month does not a trend make. Five months? Yes. The Federal Reserve reported on May 15 that industrial production declined in April, and that was the fifth straight monthly decline. Industrial production is an index measuring the physical output of all manufacturing, mining, and electric and gas utility establishments in the U.S. The drop […]

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Trade Promotion Authority Moves Forward in the Senate

By at 14 May, 2015, 6:03 pm

As the debate proceeds, a few key points must be kept in mind. by Raymond J. Keating- Over the years, it’s been called “fast track trade negotiating authority” and “trade promotion authority” (TPA). But no matter the name, it is a critical tool for the U.S. president to have when negotiating trade agreements with other […]

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National Small Business Week: 4 Big Points on Energy Exports and Small Business

By at 8 May, 2015, 3:27 pm

The misconception persists among much of the public that the energy business is all about big business. But nothing could be farther from the truth. During National Small Business Week, it must be noted that the reality is that key energy industries are overwhelmingly about small businesses. Consider the percent of U.S. employer firms in […]

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National Small Business Week: 4 Big Points on Trade and Small Business

By at 4 May, 2015, 11:44 am

International trade is a hot topic on Capitol Hill right now, and it very much is a big issue for the small business community warranting attention during National Small Business Week. President Barack Obama wants trade promotion authority (TPA) passed by Congress, so that he can push ahead with two major trade accords being negotiated, […]

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4 Key Points About the Ugly GDP Report

By at 29 April, 2015, 11:43 am

by Raymond J. Keating- The under-performing U.S. recovery served up one of its worst quarters from January to March this year. There are 4 key points that must be noted from the Bureau of Economic Analysis’s first quarter GDP report that was released on April 29. 1. The Economy Barely Grew Real GDP barely inched […]

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Advancing Free Trade in the U.S. – Clear Upsides, Especially for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses

By at 24 April, 2015, 1:16 pm

by Raymond J. Keating- As bipartisan trade legislation gains momentum in Congress, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) recently published a backgrounder titled The Future of U.S. Trade Policy. It’s handy publication that offers some good information regarding trade and the U.S. economy. A few points worth highlighting here: First, the CFR report provides a […]

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FACT OF THE WEEK: March Durable Goods – Some Concerns on Business Investment

By at 24 April, 2015, 12:41 pm

The headline story from the Census Bureau’s March durable goods report was excellent, with durable goods orders up 4.0%, well ahead of market expectations and up from the 1.4% decline in February. Durable goods orders are considered to be a leading indicator for manufacturing activity. Unfortunately, there is a “but” here, and a big one. […]

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States Moving in the Right Direction on Taxes

By at 20 April, 2015, 2:39 pm

by Raymond J. Keating- Tax Day is behind us for 2015, but the burden of taxes is with us everyday of the year. Few understand this better than small business owners. And it’s not just federal taxes that are a burden, but also levies imposed at the state and local levels. Those taxes certainly affect […]

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Unilateral Action Would Expand U.S. Exports

By at 8 April, 2015, 9:22 pm

by Raymond J. Keating- Expanding international trade is an economic positive for U.S. entrepreneurs, businesses and workers. In recent SBE Council analysis, we outlined the positives of expanding exports; explained that more imports are not economic negatives but generally reflect a growing domestic economy; likewise, the assumption that higher trade deficits are bad economic news […]

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March Jobs Report: Some Troubling Data Across the Board

By at 3 April, 2015, 11:12 am

by Raymond J. Keating- The jobs story for March, according to the latest Bureau of labor Statistics data released this morning, was uniformly bad. While one month’s data must be placed in context, in general, the first three months of 2015 have underwhelmed. As for the nonfarm payroll data from the establishment survey, employment grew […]

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