Economy

Wells Fargo Survey: Small Business Optimism Declines

After two consecutive quarters of increased optimism, the latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey revealed a decline in small business owner optimism from Q1 2011 levels. read more

U.S. Services Sector Grows for 17th Straight Month in April

Economic activity in the U.S. service sectors grew for the 17th consecutive month in April, according to the Institute for Supply Management's latest Report on Business Non-Manufacturing Index. read more

Manufacturing Leading U.S. Economy on Exports, Inventories

Bloomberg reported that manufacturing expanded faster than forecast in April, driven by gains in exports and inventories that keeping the industry at the forefront of the U.S. economic expansion. read more

Bloomberg: New Jobless Claims Rise to Three-Month High

According to a Bloomberg article, initial claims for unemployment benefits in the U.S. grew last week to the highest level in three months, signaling a slower labor market recovery than previously expected. read more

Beige Book: U.S. Economic Activity 'Continues to Improve'

U.S. economic activity grew in March and early April, according to the Federal Reserve's Beige Book report. read more

Manufacturers Project 10-15% Rise in Cost of Retail Goods

A recent Capital Business Credit survey of manufacturers and importers of consumer goods reveals increased costs will affect the entire retail supply chain upwards of 10% by this summer. read more

Huntington Economist Expects Manufacturing Employment Rise

Robust manufacturing job growth is expected this year with more than 102,000 manufacturing jobs already added in the first quarter, according to a U.S. economic forecast released by George Mokrzan, senior economist for Huntington. read more

Semiconductor Capital Spending Expected to Climb to $60.4B

IC Insights said it has boosted its forecast for semiconductor industry capital spending in 2011 and now expects outlays to climb to $60.4 billion, a 17% increase compared to what the industry spent in 2010. read more

Consumer Confidence Falls 2.6 Points in March

Consumer confidence fell for the second straight month in March, as high gas prices correlated with discouraging consumer views about the direction of the U.S. economy, according to the Discover U.S. Spending Monitor. read more

U.S. Manufacturing Continues Solid Growth

The ISM manufacturing index showed that U.S. manufacturing expanded in March for the 20th consecutive month. read more

March Unemployment at Two-Year Low

The Department of Labor reports the March unemployment rate fell to a two-year low of 8.8% and that employers added 216,000 jobs, the largest gain since May 2010. read more

CEOs Forecast Increased Sales, Capital Spending, Employment

According to the results of Business Roundtable's first quarter 2011 CEO economic outlook survey, the CEOs of America's leading companies anticipate higher sales, and plan to increase capital expenditures and employment over the next six months. read more

CFO: Business Failures Down, But Not Done

CFO magazine notes business failures overall have been declining despite recent headlines on a few high profile bankruptcies. An executive from D&B is quoted as saying "There's still a high degree of failure risk in the system." read more

Most Small Business Owners Still Looking for Recovery

Discover's monthly barometer of economic confidence noted that more than half of small business owners are saying the U.S. economy is getting worse, up from 41% in February. read more

Companies Accelerate Spending as U.S. Productivity Bypasses Jobs

Bloomberg notes in a recent story that companies are accelerating equipment purchases to boost productivity, reinforcing a unprecedented gap between capital spending and employment in the U.S. read more

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Terry Mulreany
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