Economy

Equifax Reports Decrease in Commercial Bankruptcy Petitions

Bankruptcy petition rates have nearly returned to pre-recession index levels, with commercial petitions for bankruptcy decreasing 44% since their peak in Q2/09 through Q4/11, according to Equifax Commercial Information Solutions analysis. read more

U.S. Manufacturing Probably Grew in January at Faster Pace

Bloomberg reported that manufacturing probably grew at a faster pace in January, a sign the industry will lead the U.S. expansion this year. Bloomberg noted that factory production is poised to keep expanding as the need to update equipment drives orders. read more

Q4 GDP Rises 2.8%; Equipment/Software Investment Up 5.2%

The Commerce Department reported that real gross domestic product increased 2.8% in Q4/11, after increasing 1.8% in Q3/11, according to the advance estimates by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. read more

Durable Goods Orders up 3% in December

New orders for manufactured durable goods in December increased $6.2 billion or 3.0% to $214.5 billion, the Commerce Department reported in its advance report. read more

Bloomberg: Jobless Claims Lowest in Almost Four Years

Bloomberg reported that fewer Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits. According to Labor Department data, jobless claims plunged to its lowest level since April 2008. read more

Beige Book: Economy Improves; Business Loan Demand Up

Economic activity expanded at a modest to moderate pace across most of the country during the reporting period of late November through the end of December, according to the Federal Reserve's Beige Book report. read more

U.S. Consumer Credit Rises by Most in Decades

Bloomberg reports that consumer borrowing in the U.S. surged in November by the most in ten years, showing households are optimistic enough to take on debt and banks are willing to lend. read more

Survey: CFOs Enter 2012 With 'Cautious Optimism'

In its latest monthly report, the Tatum survey of CFOs notes that business conditions have continued the upward turn seen last month. The report notes that capital expenditure commitments increased significantly to 30% from 21% in the past 30 days. read more

Unemployment Rate Continues to Trend Down

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that nonfarm payroll unemployment rose by 200,000 in December, and the unemployment rate, at 8.5%, continued to trend down. read more

Fitch: U.S. High Yield Default Rate to Rise in 2012

Fitch Ratings said it projects that the U.S. high yield default rate will rise in 2012 to a range of 2.5%-3.0%, up from 2010's 1.3% rate and this November's 1.4% level. read more

BofA Outlook: 'Growth to Slow to Just 1% by End of 2012'

According BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research's 2012 Year Ahead Outlook, "The global economy can weather a normal size recession in Europe, but the U.S. faces its own challenges. As a result, while we expect solid 3% GDP growth in the current quarter, we look for growth to slow to just 1% by the end of 2012." read more

Report: U.S. Economy Showing Growth, But Vulnerabilities Remain

A report released by TD Economics noted that despite encouraging signs of progress over the last few months, the U.S. economic recovery remains vulnerable. read more

Survey: CFOs Less Optimistic About Economy, Growth

Financial executives at U.S. companies remain concerned about the current economy and are less confident about economic growth in 2012, according to the latest Bank of America Merrill Lynch CFO Outlook survey. read more

Bank Credit Growing at Fastest Pace in Three Years

Bloomberg reported that U.S. bank credit is growing at the fastest pace in three years, giving the Federal Reserve confidence in the economic expansion's staying power. read more

Survey: CFOs Plan to Increase Capital Expenditures in 2012

According to a TD Bank survey, three-quarters of financial decision makers at mid-sized companies said they expect sales to increase over the next 12 months despite lingering economic headwinds, with half (51%) expecting to increase their capital expenditures in 2012, up from 39% last year. read more

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Terry Mulreany
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