Eurozone Industrial Production Takes a Hit in December

Industrial production fell hard in the eurozone in December, raising larger concerns about the 19 nations' effect on global economic growth. According to Reuters, industrial output declined almost 1% month-over-month (MoM), half a percent more than economists predicted. Dwindling production of capital goods was the driving force behind this decline...
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BB&T, SunTrust Merger to Ignite Technology Investment

Banking executives are expecting new clientele and technology investment to flourish in the industry over the coming year after BB&T Corp. and SunTrust Banks Inc. announced plans on Feb. 7 for a $28 billion merger. Bloomberg reports the merger will create "the sixth-biggest commercial bank in the U.S. by assets." In a joint statement, the banks...
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Economists Hopeful for Retail Growth After Recovery From Government Shutdown

As economists look further into economic growth in 2019, many are anticipating a positive outcome for the retail sector, where U.S. sales are expected to rise significantly. On Feb. 5, Reuters reported the latest predictions from the National Retail Federation (NRF), finding the mixture of increased consumer confidence, growing wages and low employ...
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Australian Legislation Requested to Address Late Supplier Payments

Small businesses in Australia are struggling to get paid on time and the government is taking notice. On Jan. 28, The Australian reported Sen. Pauline Hanson's discussion to take legislative measures to require businesses to pay their small business suppliers in a specific timeframe, citing concerns of delayed and late invoices. The issue was broug...
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Rising Mortgage Rates, Prices Rock Existing-Home Sales in December

Home construction is feeling the implications of rising mortgage rates, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), after reports saw nearly a 6.5% drop in existing-home sales in December 2018. NAHB analyzed data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) published on Jan. 22, which included single-family homes, townhomes, c...
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Global CEO Optimism Down Over Political Undertakings

Despite the whirlwind of optimism in 2018, CEOs worldwide aren't nearly as hopeful about their respective business climates, according to a recently released survey by PwC and the World Economic Forum (WEF). More than 1,300 CEOs responded to the global survey, 30% of whom anticipate a decline in global growth over the next year. On Jan. 22, PwC Glo...
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Lower Construction Input Prices Can’t Shake Weakening Economic Growth

December's construction input prices brought some good news to contractors, as Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) reports a 1.7% month-over-month (MoM) decline that was most notable in nonresidential construction pricing. Although contractors' concerns aren't completely diminished, ABC Economist Anirban Basu said in the report that the price...
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US Contractors Using Off-Site Construction for Commercial Projects

U.S. contractors in the commercial construction industry are exploring off-site construction as a means to address labor shortages, according to the National Institute of Building Sciences Off-Site Construction Council. Following a 2018 survey, about 54% of respondents said they were utilizing off-site construction, which the council as "the planni...
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Number of Open Construction Jobs Declines in November

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics wasn't very optimistic when estimating October 2018's construction unemployment rates, which surprised economists with the highest number of open construction jobs in the 18-year history of the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). However, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported, such...
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US Job Numbers in December Outweigh Unemployment

In a flip-flop over prior years, the U.S. is seeing more jobs than unemployed workers throughout the country, recently exceeding the number of added jobs predicted for December. Labor shortages are noticeable in several industries, so businesses are scrambling to devise tactics to increase potential employee interest. MSNBC reported last week a who...
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Mall, Shopping Center Vacancies Pave Rocky Path for Retail Sector

Despite the holiday season, December was not welcoming to the retail sector as overall service sector sales plummeted to the lowest mark of the year, according to NACM Economist Chris Kuehl's findings in last month's Credit Managers' Index (CMI). An underlying trend remains unknown, but a recent CNBC report indicates the latest retail pitfalls coul...
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Multifamily Housing Starts Create Upswing for Overall US Development

Following October's unanticipated decline in U.S. housing starts, homebuilding saw an upswing in November thanks to substantial gains in multifamily housing construction. Single-family housing starts, however, restrained any further growth, reaching its lowest reading since August 2017. On Dec. 18, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) r...
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Australian Government to Set Aside Millions for Cybersecurity, Faster Payment Times

Although the implementation of enhanced cybersecurity and faster supplier payment solutions come at a hefty cost to small businesses, the Australian government is not shying away from technological advancements after announcing its plans to invest nearly $13 million during its mid-year financial outlook and budget. The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) r...
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Holiday Spending Up, Despite Lowered Economic Optimism

Holiday spending this shopping season is exceeding expectations, so much so that Americans are spending well above last year's average. CNBC's All-America Economic Survey, conducted on a quarterly basis, saw a spending surge in the final quarter of 2018 to an average of more than $1,100 compared to last year's average of just over $900. According t...
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US Announces Deadline on Chinese Trade Talks

A trade truce is underway between the U.S. and China, but it is only temporary as the U.S. administration announces a March deadline that will determine the implementation of tariffs. According to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the two countries must reach a deal by Mar. 1; otherwise, the 10% tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods w...
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October New Home Sales Pace Hits Two-Year Low

With housing affordability squandering buyer interest, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau saw new single-family home sales take a seasonal dive in October. Sales were up nearly 3% from December 2017; however, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported the seasonally adjusted annual rate dr...
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US Construction Unemployment Rates Historically Low in 22 States for October

Warmer temperatures in the east and hurricane recovery efforts are sustaining employment rates in the construction industry, where Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) said unemployment rates dropped across 45 states year-over-year (YOY). According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the not-seasonally adjusted (NSA) national construction...
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Big Production, Workforce Changes Coming to General Motors

Investors in the automotive industry will want to pay attention to the latest move by General Motors Co. after the U.S. No. 1 carmaker announced Nov. 26 its plans to transition from the traditional gas-powered vehicles to electric and autonomous vehicles. The decision will have a direct impact on the company's workforce in North America. According ...
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US Bankruptcy Court Approves Sears’ Decision to ‘Stay in Business, Sell Itself’

Unlike the Chapter 11 bankruptcy whirlwind that struck Toys R Us more than a year ago, Sears is finding success in its Ch. 11 filing after the U.S. Bankruptcy Court approved the department store's plan to "stay in business and sell itself." The announcement was made about a month after Sears filed for Ch. 11 to the dismay of some credit managing bu...
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Rising Interest Rates, Home Prices Bring Housing Affordability to 10-Year Low

Housing affordability in the U.S. continues to turn heads as the latest National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) revealed a decade-long low in the third quarter of 2018. Economists say rising interest rates and home prices as well as the ongoing labor shortages are to blame. "Builders are increasingly...
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