A weekly roundup of small-business developments.
What’s affecting me, my clients and other small-business owners this week.
The Economy: Big Bird Wants Out
Small-business confidence remains at recessionary levels. Wholesale sales and inventories (pdf) are soft. The International Monetary Fund lowers its global growth forecast. Both imports and exports were weak in August. However, machine-tool orders rebounded, and the Federal Reserve reports that the economy “expanded modestly” in September. A team of investment professionals believes that a fiscal cliff solution will be reached. David Rothkopf wonders if world leaders understand the third industrial revolution that’s taking place. Neil Irwin explains what’s really going on. Shale gas could lower manufacturing costs. Meanwhile, there was a vice-presidential debate, and Big Bird just wants out.
The Data: To Trust or Not?
For each job available, there are three and a half people looking for work, and Lance Roberts wonders if the unemployment rate is 7.8 percent or 22 percent. Bill McBride demystifies how the rate is computed: “Most of the decline in the overall participation rate has been due to changing demographics.” Mark Thoma believes we can trust the data. Meanwhile, no one knows why a single mysterious computer program that placed orders (and then subsequently canceled them)
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