Numbers that Matter


Retail sales data shows changing consumer patterns

February 27, 2015 1:46 pm ET

In the middle of each month the Census Bureau releases its Advance Monthly Retail Sales report, which includes data on a wide variety of retail establishments. This data is of vital interest to many segments of the plastics industry because the...


Mexico's economy will accelerate moderately in 2015

December 10, 2014 12:09 pm ET

If you look closely, you may notice that the traditional perceptions about Mexico and its economic prospects are shifting.


Sluggish global economy won't stop US recovery

November 28, 2014 6:00 am ET

There has been a lot of negative economic news in recent weeks about some of America's largest trading partners. Japan's economy just registered its second consecutive quarter of negative GDP growth, which means that it is now officially in a...


Keep your eye on industry, company growth

September 22, 2014 2:13 pm ET

Summer is nearly over. That always-too-short vacation on the beach is a fading memory. The kids are back in school, and now is the time of year that intrepid economists and other market prognosticators start to publicize their forecasts for the new...


Consumer products sector sees improving growth

August 27, 2014 12:49 pm ET

It is late summer, and we are already almost two-thirds of the way through the third quarter. But I find myself wanting to bask in the warm afterglow of the economic data from the second quarter a bit longer.


Consumer spending accelerates in second quarter

August 13, 2014 11:34 am ET

The United States Commerce Department recently released the advance estimate of U.S. gross domestic product in the second quarter of 2014. Their data indicate that real GDP expanded by 4 percent in the second quarter. This rate of expansion was...


Residential construction set for steady growth

July 31, 2014 10:27 am ET

After a sluggish start to the year, activity levels in the residential construction sector gained momentum in the second quarter of this year. The total number of new houses started in the United States actually declined slightly in the first...


Strong manufacturing profits portend more M&A activity

July 15, 2014 2:40 pm ET

By now you have probably heard the disconcerting news about the negative economic growth in the first quarter of this year. But in case you have not, here is a recap: according to the latest data released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, total...


Economic confidence is up, but hold the celebration

June 25, 2014 4:17 pm ET

This past spring the U.S. economy marked the fifth anniversary of the current economic expansion. I choose to use the word “marked” rather than “celebrated” here because the pace of growth in the economy during the past five...


Medical equipment output remains strong despite drop

June 10, 2014 12:33 pm ET

The Federal Reserve Board's monthly index that measures U.S. industrial production of medical equipment and supplies registered 120.8 in April (in 2002, it was 100). This value was down slightly from the previous month, but it represented a gain of...

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