Economy Moves Front & Center

As we move closer to a complete reopening of the American economy in the wake of decreasing COVID -19 infections and increasing citizens being fully vaccinated, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) information is getting much more play in news cycles – and for a bunch of not-so-encouraging reasons. First off, the labor shortage appears to…

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Business Confidence

Notwithstanding ongoing challenges with the labor shortage and lingering COVID fears, small businesses are generally more optimistic about the future now than they were a year ago, although access to capital is keeping many awake nights. According to a national survey a few weeks ago of 2,140 small business owners by Goldman Sachs, 84% said…

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Business and Consumer Confidence

While the COVID vaccine becomes more available and more states relax some of their onerous restrictions on business operations, both business and consumer confidence continue to play on the metaphorical see-saw. A survey by the National Federation of Independent Business found the outlook of small business owners improving slightly with 15% of its respondents reporting…

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Consumer Trends

According to the latest Survey of Consumers produced by the University of Michigan, consumer sentiment for early February dropped by nearly three whole points to 76.2, the lowest reading since August of last year and down more than 20 points from February of 2020 – which was just before the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S.…

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Economic Observations

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) last week reported that average hourly earnings increased 0.4 percent from November to December 2020. The increase stems from an increase of 0.8 percent in hourly earnings coupled with a 0.4 percent rise in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Year over year, average hourly earnings increased 3.7 percent…

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Miscellaneous

Just a reminder that the Federal Trade Commission will be hosting a virtual workshop on the franchising rule on November 10. More information on the FTC workshop is available on the agency’s website here. Also, don’t forget that next week’s calendar also includes the Restaurant Finance Conference and one of the keynote speakers at that…

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Economic Reports

State revenues have plummeted since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country in mid-March to the tune of an estimated $31 billion in lost tax revenues thus far. Further, the analysis by the Urban Institute points to a 6.4 percent reduction in revenue through the month of August, with greater losses possible as coronavirus shutdowns continue…

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July Economic Volatility

Just about halfway through life with the coronavirus, there was a mix of good and bad results coming to us last month. On the positive end of the spectrum, the U.S. Commerce Department reports that retail sales at restaurants jumped by 5 percent last month – easily outpacing the 1.2 percent growth experienced by the…

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Industry Insights

Throughout the course of the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the American economy, the restaurant sector has been hard hit. Same-store sales fell 11.6% at QSRs in March on a 16.3% traffic decrease according to MillerPulse. Drive-thrus and delivery cushioned the drop, but fast-food results also fell victim to steeper slides as the month…

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Another 6.6 Million Unemployment Claims Filed

The news from the Department of Labor (DOL), was no better yesterday than it was the past two weeks as another 6.6 million Americans filed first time claims for unemployment insurance in the face of the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Last week’s total of 6,648,000 claims was adjusted upwards during the week by an increase of…

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