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Archives: July 2009

Coffee Stocks See Cartoonish Gains as Market Rises

Posted by: Greg T. Spielberg on July 31, Categories: Confidence

There’s a common phrase these days in media circles: “Even is the new up.” In other words, as businesses pull ads like Bugs Bunny pulls stunts, companies are okay...

Silver Lining in the Latest Jobless Numbers

Posted by: Joe Weber on July 30, Categories: Economy

Unemployment tallies continue to grow, but Bangalore reports that an important category among those out of work is declining. Her conclusion: “the pace of layoffs is diminishing.” So, on the one hand, things look worse. On the other, they could be worse still and, hidden in the overall numbers, are signposts of improvements.

BusinessWeek/YouGov Optimism Index Up With The Temperature

Posted by: Greg T. Spielberg on July 24, Categories:

It’s Friday. That’s the first reason for optimism. The second is BusinessWeek/YouGov’s Optimism Index is up two points to 47% this week. Our Dow Jones industrial average showed it’s...

Housing, Jobs Send Mixed Signals on the Economic Outlook

Posted by: Joe Weber on July 24, Categories: Economy

Sales of existing homes rose 3.6% in June, to an annual rate of 4.89 million. This is the third consecutive monthly gain. Moreover, sales of single-family existing homes rose 2.4% in the month, to an annual rate of 4.32 million, which is also a third monthly rise.

Economic Gains "Around the Corner"

Posted by: Joe Weber on July 21, Categories: Economy

Nonetheless, this economic slump is showing some clear signs of ending. Bangalore, in his July 20 daily report, notes that the government’s index of leading economic indicators rose in June for at least the third straight month. The LEI climbed 0.7% in June, on top of a 1.3% rise in May and a 1.2% jump in April. And the index’s bottom appears to have occurred last December, when it plunged 3.98%.

Business Owners Predicting Growth for Q4

Posted by: Greg T. Spielberg on July 17, Categories:

This is the first time since the second quarter of 2006 that many of them, those with mid-sized businesses, said they expect to see gains in the economy. Small-business owners have not expected growth since the opening quarter of 2007.

Money Managers See Economic Gains Ahead

Posted by: Joe Weber on July 16, Categories: Economy

“There is more of an expectation that there is a bottoming of economic growth, a slowing of deceleration,” says Christopher E. Vella, global director research for the Chicago-based bank. “They expect a pickup in the third and fourth quarter of this year.”

AMEX Beats Forecasts

Posted by: Greg T. Spielberg on July 15, Categories:

Over on our Unstructured Finance blog, Jessica Silver-Greenberg writes that American Express is walking with a bit of pep in its step. The company beat Wall Street expectations and experienced...

Thrift No Threat to Recovery, Economist Says

Posted by: Joe Weber on July 14, Categories: Economy

Berner maintains that a “slow return to thrift” is under way among consumers who had cut their savings rate below zero last year. He argues that this “sea change,” coupled with “aggressive deleveraging,” or the paying down of debt, will mean slower growth in spending in the next few years.

More Signs of Growth in Global Trade

Posted by: Joe Weber on July 10, Categories: Economy

Domestic business activity – based on manufacturing surveys – “is screaming for an imminent rebound in U.S. real non-petroleum imports to the rang of a 6-10% annualized growth.” The bank’s economic models suggest 3-10% annualized growth is possible for the remainder of this year.

China's Economic Growth Picks up Steam

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on July 10, Categories: Economy

What’s surprising, and encouraging about the strength of China’s economic recovery [GDP growth bottomed out in the first quarter at 6.1%] is just how much of China’s growth is being fueled by Chinese consumers.

Why the Death of the Business Trip is Good for Business

Posted by: Michelle Conlin on July 08, Categories: Culture

About a year ago, I wrote a story about the death of the business trip entitled "The Waning Days of the Road Warrior." The story told the tale of a...

Barclays Sees a Modest Recovery

Posted by: Joe Weber on July 06, Categories: Economy

With typical British understatement the Barclays analysts say the global economy and financial markets have proved to be “much better behaved than they were in the second half of last year.” They point particularly to emerging markets, especially in Asia, where they say the economic cycle has moved ahead of advanced economies.

Toyota prepares to build Highlander SUVs in the U.S.

Posted by: Peter Coy on July 06, Categories: Investment

Toyota Motor Corp. has nearly completed a half-billion-dollar retooling of a plant in Princeton, Ind., so it can begin manufacturing Highlander SUVs there starting in October. The plan was...

Putting the Bad Jobs Report Into Perspective

Posted by: Joe Weber on July 02, Categories: Economy

“The conclusion is that labor market conditions remain weak but the pace of job loss has slowed and initial jobless claims, a leading economic indicator, have peaked,” the Northern Trust economist says. “This combination suggests that the labor market is improving in the desired direction.”


BusinessWeek’s Joe Weber, Patricia O'Connell, Michelle Conlin, Frederik Balfour, Peter Coy, Greg Spielberg and Roger Crockett examine The Case for Optimism by looking past the financial turmoil and economic unrest gripping the globe to focus on the promising future that lies on the other side of this storm. We’ll chronicle the forward thinkers investing in R&D, launching promising new products, entering new markets, or implementing management and leadership.

See why BusinessWeek Editor-In-Chief Stephen J. Adler is optimistic about the economy amid the sharpest downturn since the Great Depression.

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