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NFIB Weekly News

NFIB Weekly News Leading the News

Fed Says “Economy Is Doing Well,” Hikes Interest Rates. (03/21/2017)

USA Today (3/15, Davidson) reported that the Federal Reserve “raised its benchmark short-term rate by a quarter percentage point to a range of 0.75% to 1% and stuck to its forecast of two more such increases this year and three in 2018. Some economists had expected Fed policymakers to modestly step up the pace.” The Los Angeles Times (3/15, Puzzanghera) noted Fed Chair Yellen told reporters, “The simple message is the economy is doing well. ... We have confidence in the robustness of the economy and its resilience to shocks.” Reuters (3/15, Schneider) quoted her as saying, “We have seen the economy progress over the last several months in exactly the way we anticipated. ... We have some confidence in the path the economy is on.”

Along those lines, the AP (3/15, Crutsinger) said “the message the Fed that nearly eight years after the Great Recession ended, the economy no longer needs the support of ultra-low borrowing rates and is healthy enough to withstand steadily tighter credit.” The Wall Street Journal (3/15, Timiraos, Davidson, Subscription Publication) ran a similar analysis, while Politico (3/15, White) (3/15, White) said Yellen “is looking to hide the punch bowl from President Donald Trump. ... The move was the first of what could be three or four increases this year that the Fed hopes will keep a lid on inflation and potentially slow down the kind of economic growth Trump promised to deliver during his populist romp to the White House.”

Business Climate

Disparity Among Regional Feds’ Growth Estimates Examined. (03/21/2017)

Bloomberg News (3/17, Condon) reported on the disparities in growth forecasts among the regional Fed banks. First-quarter GDP estimates “show widely different views of the economy, with the New York Fed pegging growth at a rather robust 2.8 percent on an annualized basis and its Atlanta counterpart putting it at a tepid 0.9 percent.” Bloomberg said this “so-called nowcasting,” is the result of using “computational methods to crunch numbers in real time.” Examining why the results are different, the piece quoted Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities, as saying the estimates are “trying to answer different questions.”

Small Business Marketing

Forecast Says Google, Facebook Will Continue To Lead Digital Ad Spend This Year. (03/21/2017)

The Wall Street Journal (3/14, Bruell, Subscription Publication) reported that eMarketer is now forecasting that spending on digital ads in the US this year will grow by 16% to $83 billion, with Google still leading at almost 41% of the total digital spend and Facebook expected to grab share from competitors for nearly 20% of the digital market. In display, Facebook is expected to have more than 39% of the total share for $16.33 billion in spending, while Instagram is helping drive the company’s mobile share and will contribute 20% of Facebook’s mobile revenue.

Wages and Benefits

Labor Rules Delayed To Comply With Trump Moratorium. (03/21/2017)

The Hill (3/17, Devaney) reported on several new federal regulations. The Department of Labor (DOL) is “again delaying” the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) new “workplace limits on exposure to beryllium” from March 21 to May 20.

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