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Fact of the Week

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, […]

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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 […]

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Industrial Production Declining

By at 15 June, 2015, 2:58 pm

On June 15, the Federal Reserve released its estimate for industrial production for May, and this latest number continued a disturbing downward trend. Industrial production is an index measuring the physical output of all manufacturing, mining, and electric and gas utility establishments in the U.S. In May, industrial production fell by 0.2 percent, with manufacturing […]

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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: […]

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FACT OF THE WEEK: Strange Spin on the Latest Trade Data

By at 3 June, 2015, 12:00 pm

It seems like you can count on trade data to be misinterpreted on a regular basis. That seems to be the case with reporting on the April trade numbers, which were released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis on June 3. A Wall Street Journal story, for example, carried a subtitle “April result eases […]

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Q1 GDP: Should We Be Thinking About the “R” Word?

By at 29 May, 2015, 10:45 am

By Raymond Keating-   The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released its second estimate of first quarter real GDP on the morning of May 29, and it turned out that growth went negative. An ugly preliminary estimate of 0.2 percent growth rate managed to get even worse. First quarter GDP growth now is pegged at […]

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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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National Small Business Week: 4 Big Points on Tax Reform and Small Business

By at 6 May, 2015, 4:01 pm

Tax reform has been getting some hot political buzz and attention in recent months. During National Small Business Week, it should be highlighted that small businesses and entrepreneurship would benefit significantly from tax reform, as long as tax reform is done right.   As for action on tax reform, Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) […]

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FACT OF THE WEEK: Worst Productivity Data in Over Two Decades

By at 6 May, 2015, 10:43 am

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its first quarter 2015 estimate of productivity on May 6, and the news was dismal.   The report sums up: “Nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased at a 1.9 percent annual rate during the first quarter of 2015…, as output declined 0.2 percent and hours worked increased 1.7 […]

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National Small Business Week: 4 Big Points on Internet Regulation and Small Business

By at 5 May, 2015, 11:52 am

On February 26, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to move from a light regulatory touch, as authorized by Congress and President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, to a heavy-handed utility-style regulation of broadband Internet – both wired and wireless networks. The FCC, by a vote of 3-2, claimed it could apply legislation initially passed […]

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