||Last Updated: Oct 9, 2015 - 12:32 AM
US corporate profits rose to a new record last year, as firms restrict hiring and build up cash rather than spend on investments, almost five years since the economic recovery began in mid 2009. Meanwhile, in 2013 real (inflation adjusted) average hourly earnings were flat with a zero change.
Mar 28, 2014 - 2:27 AM
Consumer spending picked up late last year more than previously estimated real gross domestic product (GDP) increased an annualised 2.6% in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the “third” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The growth rate was 0.2 percentage point more than the “second” estimate released in February. In the third quarter, the growth rate was 4.1%.
Mar 27, 2014 - 3:22 PM
Sales of new US single-family houses in February 2014 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 440,000, according to estimates released today by the US Census Bureau. This is 3.3% below the revised January rate of 455,000 and is 1.1% below the February 2013 estimate of 445,000.Meanwhile, S&P/Case-Shiller home prices were flat in January while consumer confidence rose in March according to two separate reports also issued Tuesday.
Mar 25, 2014 - 4:07 PM
US manufacturing business conditions continued to improve at the end of the first quarter, as highlighted by the Markit Flash US Manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers’ index registering 55.5 in March. The index, which is based on approximately 85% of usual monthly replies, was down from 57.1 in February but still the second-highest since January 2013. Reports from survey respondents cited improving economic fundamentals and, to a lesser degree, an on-going catch-up effect following weather disruptions earlier in the year.
Mar 25, 2014 - 7:23 AM
Corporate Tax Avoidance: The biggest US business groups from Apple to IBM added $206bn to their hoards of offshore profits last year, parking earnings in low-tax countries with the hope that Congress will declare a tax holiday with the help of paid campaign gifts to elected members.
Mar 12, 2014 - 1:53 PM
US nonfarm payroll employment rose by 175,000 in February, and the unemployment rate, at 6.7%, changed little according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on Friday. Employment increased in professional and business services and in wholesale trade but fell in the information industry. The broad rate of unemployment including discouraged workers was 12.6% (see below).
Mar 7, 2014 - 2:42 PM
Dr Peter Morici: Friday, the Labor Department is expected to report the economy added 150,000 jobs in February. This is less than half the pace needed to lower unemployment to an acceptable level, and President Obama’s budget promises little relief.
Mar 7, 2014 - 7:49 AM
US private sector jobs data issued Wednesday was weak in February as factories added few new employees, according to a closely watched survey. Meanwhile, two services PMI (purchasing managers' index) reports showed that activity dipped in the month.
Mar 5, 2014 - 4:16 PM
US manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers' index) grew in February according to two separate surveys published Monday.
Mar 3, 2014 - 4:36 PM
Corporate Tax 2014: Dave Camp, the Republican chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, released a sweeping tax-overhaul plan on Wednesday, which triggered a flood of criticism. When asked about the proposal’s details, Republican House Speaker John Boehner replied, “Blah, blah, blah, blah” - - that was code for its chances of success in an election year.
Feb 27, 2014 - 9:00 AM
Credit Suisse Group , Switzerland's second biggest bank, went to great lengths to assist US customers trying to open Swiss bank accounts and evade taxes, entertaining them at a Swiss-themed ball in New York and golf tournaments in Florida and opening a branch in the Zurich airport to serve Americans heading for ski holidays, a Senate report said Tuesday.
Feb 26, 2014 - 8:04 AM
Corporate Tax 2014: In the coming two weeks, the White House and Congress are expected to publish reform proposals to address pervasive US corporate tax avoidance, that likely also includes evasion.
Feb 21, 2014 - 5:34 AM
Corporate Tax 2014: The US has the highest headline corporate tax rate among member countries of the Organisation of Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) but companies with significant international activity (excluding oil exploration firms) tend to have much lower effective rates (actual tax payable as a ratio of earnings). To break the tax reform gridlock in Washington DC, Robert Pozen, a former vice chairman of Fidelity Investments, the financial services giant, and currently a lecturer at Harvard Business School, has proposed a 17% tax on foreign profits that mainly currently avoid US taxes.
Feb 20, 2014 - 6:19 AM
Feb 11, 2014 - 4:44 AM
American Plutonomy: There has been a lot of controversy in recent years in the US on inequality and last month Tom Perkins, a co-founder of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a leading Silicon Valley venture capital firm, in a letter to The Wall Street Journal, compared activism in San Francisco against the tech 'elite,' to the 1938 Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass) pogrom against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and Nazi-controlled parts of Austria and Czechoslovakia. Beyond the bizarre bile of a billionaire, there is an economic metric that cuts to the key impact for the economy: in 2012, the richest 5% of Americans accounted for almost 40% of consumer spending.
The American economy only added 113,000 jobs in January, a disappointing result after a poor showing in December. The natural monthly growth of the workforce is at about 90,000. In recent months, data shows a falling trend.
Feb 7, 2014 - 3:00 PM
Dr Peter Morici: Today economists expect the Labor Department to report the economy added 181,000 jobs in January, up from the disappointing 74,000 scored in December. That's about half the pace needed to bring unemployment down to acceptable levels and motivate the Federal Reserve to raise targets for short-term interest rates.
Feb 7, 2014 - 7:11 AM
Corporate Tax 2014: President Obama having campaigned in 2008 to reform the corporate code but with no progress made with the Congress in the interval, is now forced into running with the hare and hunting with the hounds, as work is underway to reform international tax rules.
Feb 6, 2014 - 10:21 AM
Two US PMI (purchasing managers' index) survey results issued Monday show that US manufacturing slowed inJanuary.
Feb 3, 2014 - 3:31 PM
While the US economy grew at a slower annualised pace than the third quarter's 4.1% rate, the final six months of the year delivered the strongest second half since 2003 boosted by exports, consumer spending and business investment.
Jan 31, 2014 - 5:59 AM
Goldman Sachs, the US investment bank, today reported a 21% drop in quarterly earnings as revenue from fixed-income trading fell. Meanwhile, Citigroup, the third largest US bank by assets reported more than a doubling in earnings. Nevertheless, it was lower than expected quarterly profit as cost cuts did not offset a decline in fixed-income (bonds) revenue.
Jan 16, 2014 - 4:33 PM
The US Census Bureau announced today that estimates of US retail and food services sales for December, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $431.9bn, an increase of 0.2% from the previous month, and 4.1% above December 2012. Total sales for the 12 months of 2013 were up 4.2% from 2012 - - annual consumer inflation was 1.2% in November 2013.
Jan 14, 2014 - 4:31 PM
Dr Peter Morici: The US jobs market is not shifting into high gear, as some analysts have suggested, and the disappointing December jobs report, standing alone, means nothing. The labor market continues to move along much as it has for the past two years. Hiring is too slow to really dent unemployment.
Jan 14, 2014 - 9:20 AM
The unemployment rate declined from 7.0 to 6.7% in December as people left the workforce, and nonfarm payroll employment edged up (+74,000). Monthly job gains averaged 182,000 in 2013, about the same as in 2012. In December, employment rose in retail trade and wholesale trade but fell in the information industry.
Jan 10, 2014 - 3:44 PM
The US private sector added 238,000 jobs in December, according to the December ADP National Employment Report today -- on Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics' non-farm employment, including the public sector, will be published.
Jan 8, 2014 - 4:29 PM
Dr Peter Morici: Reinstating emergency unemployment benefits, as President Obama urges, would slow growth and impose unconscionable burdens on the working poor.
Jan 8, 2014 - 7:53 AM
US services PMI (purchasing managers' index) grew in December for the 48th consecutive month, say the nation's purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business. Meanwhile, the UK service sector continued to expand strongly as 2013 came to an end, with activity, new business and employment all again rising at marked rates. Markit said these positive trends helped bolster business expectations, with confidence amongst service providers at its highest in nearly four years, even though activity slightly eased in the month.
Jan 6, 2014 - 4:08 PM
Economic activity in the US manufacturing sector expanded in December for the seventh consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 55th consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business. In a separate PMI (purchasing managers' index) survey from Markit, the UK markets data firm, business conditions in the US manufacturing sector improved at the fastest rate since January. According to the final December Markit US Manufacturing PMI index, at 55.0, up from 54.7 in November and above the earlier flash estimate of 54.4, the PMI indicated a solid rate of expansion.
Jan 2, 2014 - 3:52 PM
Real US gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States -- increased at an annualised rate of 4.1% in the third quarter of 2013 (that is, from the second quarter to the third quarter), according to the "third" GDP estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 2.5%.
Dec 20, 2013 - 1:37 PM
The US Federal Reserve on Wednesday agreed to begin its taper of bond purchases on a slow burn and investors cheered as Ben Bernanke, the chairman, prepares to leave office next month.
Dec 19, 2013 - 11:04 AM
The US unemployment rate declined from 7.3% to 7.0% in November, and nonfarm payroll employment rose by 203,000. Employment rose in transportation and warehousing, health care, and manufacturing. The broad rate of unemployment was at 13.2%. The labour-force participation rate, a measure of both people who are working and those who are actively looking rose slightly above the October level of 62.8% - - it's lowest level in more than three decades. The 30-year average stands at around 65.8%.
Dec 6, 2013 - 2:03 PM
Real US gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annualised 3.6% in the third quarter of 2013, according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The growth rate was 0.8 percentage point more than the “advance” estimate released the previous month. In the second quarter, the growth rate was 2.5%.
Dec 5, 2013 - 4:30 PM
US private sector employment increased by 215,000 jobs from October to November, according to the November ADP National Employment Report, released on Wednesday. The report, which is derived from ADP’s actual payroll data, measures the change in total nonfarm private employment each month on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Meanwhile, also today, the Census Bureau reported that new-home sales surged in October at the fasted rate in more than three decades, a sign the housing market is regaining momentum after a rise in mortgage rates last summer. However, the Institute of Supple Management said its services index showed a slowing of activity in November.
Dec 4, 2013 - 3:56 PM
The Swiss banking regulator has urged banks to participate with the US anti-tax evasion program that aims to reveal undeclared assets of American clients. It's reported that many banks my not sign up as they would immediately be liable to fines. Meanwhile, Raoul Weil, a former UBS banker who is a fugitive from US justice, has agreed to face trial in the US, after his arrest in Italy last October.
Dec 3, 2013 - 7:46 AM
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in November for the sixth consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 54th consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Report On Business. Separately the final Markit U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) registered 54.7 in November, signalling the strongest improvement in manufacturing business conditions since January. The headline index was up sharply from 51.8 in October (a one-year low) and above the earlier flash estimate of 54.3.
Dec 2, 2013 - 4:04 PM
Larry Summers, former Treasury secretary for President Clinton and former head of President Obama's National Economic Council, has received a lot of attention this month for his comments on the obsession with deficits years ahead when there is a current risk of long-term economic stagnation.
Nov 22, 2013 - 2:26 AM
At 54.3, the Markit Flash US manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers’ index), which is based on approximately 85% of usual monthly survey replies, rose to an eight-month high in November. This was up from a one-year low of 51.8 in October.
Nov 21, 2013 - 4:26 PM
The chairman of the US Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday unveiled an international tax reform "staff discussion draft," which provides for a foreign minimum tax that could be 20% or more. Low or no tax jurisdictions such as Ireland would be hit by such a measure.
Nov 20, 2013 - 8:58 AM
One of the hallmarks of the American Dream is equal opportunity: the belief that anyone who works hard and plays by the rules can achieve economic success. Recent research finds that 40% of Americans consider it common for a person in the United States to start poor, work hard, and become rich. But that rags-to-riches story is more prevalent in Hollywood than in reality. In fact, 43% of Americans raised at the bottom of the income ladder remain stuck there as adults, and 70% never even make it to the middle while only 4% move from rags to riches.
Nov 18, 2013 - 9:20 AM
US nonfarm payroll employment rose by 148,000 in September while the nonfarm payroll employment rose by 204,000 in October, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 7.3% according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Over the prior 12 months, job gains averaged 190,000 per month. In October, employment rose in leisure and hospitality, retail trade, professional and technical services, manufacturing, and health care.
Nov 8, 2013 - 3:00 PM
The US economy grew at a higher-than-expected growth in the third quarter. GDP (gross domestic product) grew at an annualised rate of 2.8% up from 2.5% in the second quarter.
Nov 7, 2013 - 2:40 PM