Small Business Optimism

May 12, 2020 Small business optimism fell 5.5 points in April to 90.9 after hving declined 8.1 points in March to 96.4 which is the biggest monthly decline in the survey’s history.  .Nine of the 10 index components declined which is evidence that the economic...

Trade Deficit

May 5, 2020 The trade deficit for March widened $4.6 billion to $44.5 billion after having narrowed by  $5.7 billion in February.  Exports fell 9.6% in March while imports declined by 6.2%.  And given that the economy fell off the cliff in the second half of March, we...

Corporate Profits

December 20, 2019 Corporate profits before tax with inventory valuation and capital consumption adjustments fell 0.2% in the third quarter after having risen 3.8% in the second quarter.  During the last year profits on this basis has declined 1.2%.  The IVA and CC...

Corporate Leverage

December 4, 2019 Economists like to keep an eye on the amount of leverage amongst corporations.  When corporations take on huge amounts of debt in relation to their net worth, any economic downturn will be much more severe than it would otherwise be as corporations...

Corporate Cash

December 4, 2019 Corporate cash holdings rose $226 billion in the third quarter to $3.00 trillion (above).  At 11.1% they are significantly higher than their long-run average of 9.8% of non-financial assets (below). Stephen Slifer NumberNomics Charleston,...

S&P 500 Stock Prices

November 1, 2019 The stock market continues to power its way upwards to a series of record high levels. Given that many economists worry about slower growth overseas particularly in China which is the world’s second largest economy,  weakness in the U.S....