Beyond Keystone, troubling signals from the White House on infrastructure permits

This week’s Keystone XL Senate vote has grabbed almost all the media attention, and for good reason: it’s fundamentally unfair to make any business wait six years for a permit. (Seriously – you could have seen “You Can’t Mess With the Zohan” in the theater the same day TransCanada filed its permit application. That’s just not right.) (continue reading…)

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NAM Leads Broad Coalition Effort to Spur Congress to Address Tax Extenders

Both Chambers of Congress received a letter this morning signed by the NAM and over 500 organizations from the Broad Tax Extenders Coalition — a group representing millions of individuals, businesses of all sizes, community development organizations and non-profit organizations – urging Congress to work together during Lame Duck to extend seamlessly, enhance or make permanent the tax provisions that expired in 2013 and those expiring this year. (continue reading…)

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Producer Prices for Final Demand Goods Declined for the Fourth Straight Month

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said that producer prices for final demand goods and services rose 0.2 percent in October. Yet, that gain stemmed mainly from increased costs for food (up 1.0 percent) and services (up 0.5 percent). Producer prices for final demand goods fell for the fourth straight month, down 0.4 percent. Falling energy costs (down 3.0 percent) continue to force the overall headline number lower. Indeed, prices for final demand energy goods have declined 5.9 percent since June, helping to decelerate overall inflationary pressures for producers.

At the same time, food prices rebounded from a softer September. Through the first 10 months of 2014, prices for final demand foods have risen 4.8 percent. In October, cooking oils, eggs, fruits, meats and vegetables accounted for the bulk of the monthly jump in food costs, with those same categories responsible for the year-to-date gains. (continue reading…)

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NAM Hosts Shopfloor Briefing on Investment Week

On Friday, November 14th, the NAM wrapped up “Investment Week” with a Shopfloor Hill briefing held in the Rayburn House Office Building which focused on the importance of the investment tax incentives that are currently part of the “tax extenders” debate. (continue reading…)

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NAM Hosts Shopfloor Briefing on Investment Week

On Friday, November 14th, the NAM wrapped up “Investment Week” with a Shopfloor Hill briefing held in the Rayburn House Office Building which focused on the importance of the investment tax incentives that are currently part of the “tax extenders” debate. (continue reading…)

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Industrial Production Disappoints in October

Manufacturing production rose 0.2 percent in October. At the same time, output in the sector was revised down from an original estimate of 0.5 percent in September to 0.2 percent. As such, manufacturing production has been weaker over the past three months than desired. Capacity utilization among manufacturers has also edged lower over this time frame, down 77.8 percent in July to 77.2 percent in October.

On a year-over-year basis, manufacturing production has risen 3.4 percent since October 2013. That indicates modest growth over the past 12 months, and yet, it also reflects a deceleration in the year-over-year pace since peaking in July at 4.9 percent. (continue reading…)

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NY Fed: Manufacturing Activity Picked Up Again in November

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey reported a pickup in activity again in November after slowing somewhat in October. The New York Federal Reserve Bank’s composite index of general business conditions rose from 6.2 in October to 10.2 in November. While this figure reflects continued expansion in the sector, it is perhaps notable that the headline figure had averaged 21.2 over the five months of May through September. As such, growth for manufacturers in the New York Fed district has been more modest in the fourth quarter than it was mid-year. (continue reading…)

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Monday Economic Report – November 17, 2014

Here is the summary for this week’s Monday Economic Report: 

Manufacturers produced $2.085 trillion in value-added in the second quarter, according to new data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. That figure is continued evidence that the manufacturing sector has a significant impact on economic activity, accounting for 12 percent of GDP. Moreover, the sector added 0.81 percentage points to second-quarter real GDP growth, which rebounded by 4.6 percent after weakness in the first quarter. This suggests that manufacturers had an outsized impact on economic growth in the second quarter, with only the professional and business services sector having a larger contribution to real GDP. (continue reading…)

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University of Michigan: Consumer Confidence at Highest Point Since July 2007

The University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters said that consumer confidence rose to its highest level since July 2007. Preliminary Consumer Sentiment Index data increased from 86.9 in October to 89.4 in November. This reflects continued improvement in Americans’ perceptions about the U.S. economy, with the headline figure rising from 75.1 in November 2013 (in the aftermath of the budget shutdown). Moreover, it mirrors similar data from the Conference Board, which also has reached a pre-recessionary high of late. (continue reading…)

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Retail Sales Bounced Back in October

The Census Bureau said that retail sales rose 0.3 percent in October, offsetting the 0.3 percent decline in September. This was slightly better than the consensus estimate of 0.2 percent growth for the month. Moreover, gasoline station sales fell 1.5 percent and have declined in four of the past five months. Of course, gasoline prices were largely behind this decrease, with the average price of regular gasoline dropping from $3.64 in late June to less than $2.91 last week. Excluding gasoline, spending would have risen 0.6 percent, suggesting better sales figures in the broader market. (continue reading…)

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