Economy

Fed Signals Low Interest Rates for ‘Considerable Time’

According to minutes of the most recent meeting of the FOMC, the Fed signaled that it anticipates that economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the target fed funds rate below levels the committee view as normal in the long run. read more

Bloomberg: ‘Stars Have Aligned’ to Boost Capital Spending

In a report on the economy, Bloomberg said the long-awaited pickup in U.S. business investment will take place this year. According to economists, Bloomberg notes, “The stars have aligned to boost spending on commercial equipment.” read more

Economy Adds Jobs Despite Steady Unemployment Rate

The U.S. Labor Department said the economy created 192,000 new jobs in March, while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.7%. Employment grew in in mining and logging, as well as construction. read more

U.S. Middle Market Poised to Lead Springtime Thaw

According to the National Center for Middle Market, employment and revenue growth projections from the nation’s 200,000 mid-sized firms point to growth in 2014 in spite of this winter’s deep freeze. read more

Leveraged Food, Beverage & Agribusiness Loan Volume Up 42% Y/Y

In its latest Industry Research Update on Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, GE Capital said global leverage loan volume encompassing these three sectors in 2013 totaled $130.9 billion, a 42% increase year-over-year. read more

Economy: Factory Output Rises Most in Six Months

Bloomberg reported that factory production rose in February by the most
in six months, showing manufacturing will help the U.S. economy emerge from a weather-related setback. read more

Beige Book: Activity Increases ‘Modest to Moderate’

The Fed’s latest Beige Book reports from most of the twelve Federal Reserve Districts indicated that economic conditions continued to expand with most districts reporting improved levels of activity, which were characterized as “modest to moderate.” read more

Commerce Department: GDP Growth Rate Lower Than Estimated

The Commerce Department reported that fourth quarter GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.4%, which was substantially lower than the advanced estimate of 3.2% issued last month. read more

GE Capital: 2013 Housing Starts Strongest Since 2007

In its Q1/14 Construction Industry Research Update, GE Capital said home building remained strong in 2013 supported by increasing household formation and lean inventories, but cautioned the pace will slow in 2014 due to higher mortgage rates and higher home prices. read more

Bloomberg: Retail Sales in U.S. Unexpectedly Fell in January

Bloomberg reported that sales at U.S. retailers declined in January by the most since June 2012 amid bad weather and uneven progress in the labor market, signaling the economy was off to a slow start in 2014. read more

Survey: 2014 Small Business Lending Starting Strong

Rather than taking a break after the busy holiday retail season, small businesses continued to expand through January 2014, according to the Small Business Lending Index released by Direct Capital. read more

U.S. Job Growth Slows; Unemployment Dips to 6.6% in Jan.

The Labor Department said U.S. employment rose by 113,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 6.6%. Employment grew in construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade and mining. read more

ISM: Services Sector Activity Increases in January

The ISM's Non-Manufacturing Index registered 1 percentage point higher in January than the seasonally adjusted reading from December. The majority of survey respondents feel positive about continued economic growth, ISM noted. read more

Survey: Small Business Optimism Highest in Five Years

According to the latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index, small business owners are the most optimistic they have been in five years and expect their businesses to increase cash flow and hire more employees in 2014. read more

PayNet: Small Businesses Economy Set to Support GDP Growth

PayNet said small business trends show a strong finish to 2013 that will help sustain growth in the U.S. economy in Q1/14, according to the Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index. read more

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Terry Mulreany
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