Nonfarm Productivity

December 10, 2019 Non-farm productivity edged lower in the third quarter by 0.2% which compares to a preliminary reading of a decline of   0.3%.  This small drop follows solid gains of 2.5% in the second quarter and 3.5% in the first quarter.   During the course of...

Unit Labor Costs

December 10, 2019 Unit labor costs might be a term that is not familiar to you.  Unit labor costs represent the increase in compensation adjusted for the gains in productivity.  You might think that if labor costs are rising that would put upward pressure on...

Hourly Compensation

December 10, 2019 The Bureau of Labor Statistics initially indicated that hourly compensation rose 3.2% in the third quarter.  Upon revision that increase was cut substantially to a 2.3% increase.  At the same time the second quarter increase was revised downward from...

Small Business Optimism

December 10, 2019 Small business optimism jumped 2.3 points in November to 104.7 after having risen 0.6 point in October.  The August 2018  level of 108.8  broke the previous record high level of 108.0 set 35 years ago back in July 1983.  The current level of...

Car and Truck Sales

December 6, 2019 Unit car and truck sales rose 3.4% in November to a 17.092 million pace after having fallen 3.6% in October.    During the last year car sales have declined 1.7%.  Car sales have been been edging their way lower for the past couple of years and should...

Consumer Sentiment

December 6, 2019 The preliminary estimate  of consumer sentiment for December came in at 99.2 versus a November reading of 96.8.  While volatile on a month-to-month basis consumer sentiment remains at a lofty level.  The peak for the cycle was 101.4 in March of last...