Fact of the Week

November 24th, 2015 by

In many homes this Thanksgiving, family members will go around the table with each person stating what they are thankful for. As an economist, I’ve followed the ups and downs in our economy over the past eight years and sometimes it is hard to be thankful when viewing specific data. The recession we entered in […]

November 19th, 2015 by

The October industrial production numbers released by the Federal Reserve raise additional questions about the industrial sector of the U.S. economy. Industrial production (the actual output of manufacturing, mining and utilities) fell in October by 0.2 percent compared with September. Industrial production has declined for two straight months now, and been down in seven of […]

November 13th, 2015 by

The U.S. Census Bureau released its first look at October retail sales on the morning of November 13, and the results were far from exciting. Census reported that U.S. retail and food services sales for October, which are “adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes,” increased by 0.1 […]

November 5th, 2015 by

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its first estimate of productivity for the third quarter on the morning of November 5. The news on productivity continued to be discouraging. It was summed up in the report: “Nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased at a 1.6-percent annual rate during the third quarter of 2015, the […]

October 21st, 2015 by

When it comes to politics, immigration is a hot, controversial issue. In the world of economics, there’s not nearly as much controversy. Rather, the economics of immigration are pretty straightforward. That includes, for example, the economic realities that immigrants have a higher rate of entrepreneurship compared with the native born; that high skilled immigrants make […]

October 16th, 2015 by

The latest industrial production numbers from the Federal Reserve feed uneasiness about an economy that has been troubled for eights years now. Industrial production (that is, the actual output of manufacturing, mining and utilities) declined in September compared to August by 0.2 percent. In fact, industrial production was down in seven of the first nine […]

October 9th, 2015 by

The Congressional Budget Office released its latest Monthly Budget Review on October 7, which provided an initial look at the totals for the just-closed fiscal year 2015 budget. Consider 5 key points in terms of federal spending: 1) Outlays Up Markedly in 2015. Total federal outlays jumped dramatically from 2007 to 2011 – with the […]

October 2nd, 2015 by

Dismal Data Across the Board While recent monthly U.S. jobs reports have served up mixed data, the September employment report offered very, very little on the positive side. It was dismal data across the board. Consider the following seven key woes from this latest jobs report: Payroll Employment Under-Performs.  According to the establishment (or payroll) survey, […]

September 4th, 2015 by

by Raymond J. Keating- The Bureau of Economic Analysis released July trade data on September 3, and it provided another small glimpse of part of the economy early in the third quarter. Exports in July were up slightly from June. But exports were still down notably from October, that is, $197.8 billion in October of […]

September 4th, 2015 by

On September 4, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the initial take on August employment. The data story was mixed. Consider six key points.   First, after two months of fairly solid employment gains on the establishment survey, growth for August slowed to an employment increase of 173,000. And private employment growth was only 140,000. […]

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