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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Weekly Unemployment Claims Skyrocket –

This week’s unemployment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics was released yesterday with new jobless claims setting an all-time record. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic shutting businesses down across the country, the BLS reported a seasonally-adjusted total of just under 3.3 million individuals filed new claims for the week ending March 21,…

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Strong Economy – Through February Anyway

We all know how the economy has tanked over the past week or so as a result of the coronavirus, but according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it was still going gangbusters through February. The BLS reported the addition of 273,000 new non-farm jobs in February with the unemployment rate remaining steady at…

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Price of Political Correctness

A little over 18 months ago, in the wake of poor judgement by a manager of one of its Philadelphia stores, Starbucks buckled in the face of public backlash and changed its restroom policy of paying customers only. Subsequently, Starbucks restrooms were opened to the general public, customer or not, and predictably, the homeless and…

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