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Bill Walker

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The Mixed Bag Continues for Retail and Food Services Sales Numbers

Posted August 21, 2020 by Bill Walker

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released their July 2020 Advance Monthly Sales for Retail and Food Services report. Adjusted for seasonal variation, July sales totaled $536.0 billion, which represents a 1.2 percent increase over June’s numbers ($529.4 billion). This marks the third consecutive month with increases in U.S. consumer...

Building Confidence: Residential Construction Shows Signs of Hope

Posted July 23, 2020 by Bill Walker

On Friday, the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released their Monthly New Residential Construction Report for June, and it reveals some hopeful data. All of the report’s top-level numbers were moving in the right direction, up over May’s stats — some substantially. But as a reality check on...

Report on Retail and Food Services Sales Reveals Mixed Picture

Posted July 20, 2020 by Bill Walker

On Thursday, the U.S. Census Bureau released their latest data on estimated retail and food services sales for June. Estimated numbers are based on early reports from a small sampling of companies selected from the larger Monthly Retail Trade Survey (MRTS) sample. You can view the Advance Monthly Sales for Retail and Food Services,...

Insights from the Census Bureau Pulse Survey

Posted July 16, 2020 by Bill Walker

The Census Bureau’s Small Business Pulse Survey reveals some interesting first-hand insights on how the pandemic is impacting businesses. The weekly survey was originally created in April to examine the ways in which COVID-19’s was affecting small businesses. Participating businesses are contacted by email only and must be non-farm,...

A Closer Look at Who is Getting PPP Dollars

Posted July 09, 2020 by Bill Walker

You’ve probably seen the headlines this week about the government’s release of more details about who received money from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). There were some surprises in there about the amount lent to organizations like private equity and wealth management firms, as well as not for profit organizations. But much of...

Questions Surround the Final Phases of Reopening

Posted June 29, 2020 by Bill Walker

There’s been broad confusion about the “phases of reopening” the U.S. economy. The White House created a recommended three-phase plan back in April, yet it specifies that it is ultimately up to each governor to determine what works best for their state’s situation and level of COVID-19 spread. Places like New Jersey, New York, and...

May Retail & Food Service Data Improves as Shutdowns Ease

Posted June 23, 2020 by Bill Walker

The U.S. Census Bureau’s May 2020 retail and food service data was released on June 16, and it reveals some impressive gains when comparing May to April of this year. Looking at the seasonally adjusted figures, total U.S. retail and food services sales went from $412.5 billion in April to $485.5 billion in May — a 17.7 percent monthly...

Jobs Numbers Improving… But Still a Long Way to Go

Posted June 11, 2020 by Bill Walker

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released their May employment data on Friday, June 5, and there were some pleasant surprises. After March and April’s freefall, employers added a record 2.5 million jobs in May. The unemployment rate fell from 14.7 percent in April to 13.3 percent in May — though that is still a record high level.

Cashing In: Consider These Niches for Growing Deposits

Posted May 04, 2017 by Bill Walker

Driving home from work recently, I saw a new “For Sale” sign in the yard of a house in our neighborhood. The home is tidy and well-maintained, but it isn’t necessarily someplace that would grab your attention while driving down the road. Then I noticed a smaller placard affixed to the “For Sale” sign, which read, “I’m Gorgeous...

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