UK Simplifies Customs Procedures in the Case of 'No-Deal' Brexit

The U.K. planned a way to simplify its customs process, should there be a "no-deal" Brexit. The policy, titled Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP), allows full declarations to be made after the imports have already crossed the border. The TSP will also allow companies to pay the duty fees a month after importing the goods. The government recen...
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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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Construction Spending Sees Increase in November 2018

Construction spending rose by a total of 0.8% during November 2018, an unusually positive reading for the winter months in construction, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Residential construction outlays accounted for the most of November's gain and nonresidential spending declined. Overall, spending is up 4.5% year-to-date. Residential spending...
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US Job Growth Unaffected by Government Shutdown

Job growth in the United States saw its best of 11 months in January, according to the Department of Labor, despite the 35-day partial government shutdown that furloughed approximately 800,000 workers. On Feb.1, Reuters reported the Labor Department's findings that there was no "discernible" impact on job growth last month. Hiring spiked in January...
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Credit Managers’ Index Lags to Open 2019

The Credit Managers' Index from NACM is off to a slow start in 2019 following a decline to end the previous year. The combined index dipped to 53.4 in January from December's reading of 54.2. Many of the issues were seen in the unfavorable factors—accounts placed for collection, disputes, dollar amount beyond terms and dollar amount of customer ded...
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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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US Home Prices Still Showing Increases

U.S. home prices are increasing, however, at a slower pace than the month prior. According to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, prices were up 5.2% annually in November compared to 5.3% in October. The 10-city and 20-city composite indices were also down year-over-year in November compared to the previous...
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Dismal Outlook for 2019: Davos Forum

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, ended Jan. 25 with global economic leaders doubtful for the future. Compared to the 2018 annual forum, morale is far lower this year. At the beginning of the conferences, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its global growth for 2019, setting the tone for the rest of the conferenc...
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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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Corporate Liquidity Squeeze on Horizon

Corporate liquidity is in for a slight squeeze in the future according to the latest Liquidity-Stress Indicator (LSI) from Moody's Investors Service. The LSI was unchanged in December; however, at 3.7%, it is at its highest reading since May 2017. "We expect slower corporate earnings growth and tighter funding conditions this year to continue to li...
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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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China’s Exports and Imports Fall, Dismal Outlook for World Economy

China's exports have fallen, which has raised concerns in the global market. During the month of December exports saw the largest drop in two years, indicating China's economic power is weakening in 2019 with a smaller global demand, according to a recent article by Reuters. Along with this sharp decline, China posted its largest trade surplus with...
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US President Will Not Attend International Business Forum Amid Government Shutdown

U.S. President Donald Trump will be skipping the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, amid the partial government shutdown. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other White House officials may join the forum, which will take place from Jan. 22 to Jan. 25, but the president said he will not be in attendance. This foreshadows t...
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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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Euro Area Sovereign Outlook Stable to Start 2019

Euro area sovereigns have a stable outlook for 2019 according to a new report from Moody's Investors Service. Economic growth is expected to remain healthy as government debt burdens ease. "While economic growth in the euro area will slow in 2019, at 1.9%, it will remain robust enough to be credit supportive," said Steffen Dyck, a vice president an...
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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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Despite Dip in Construction Confidence, There Is Still a Positive Outlook for 2019

Contractors in the construction industry lost confidence during 2018's third quarter, but moving into the near future, many regained a sense of optimism, according to Associate Builders and Contractors' (ABC) latest Construction Confidence Index (CCI). The index claims about 75% of construction firms expect sales will see an uptick through the end ...
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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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