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PODCAST: Investing In the Future: John Manzella on American Capitalism

This week on Market Digest Laura speaks with John Manzella, nationally syndicated columnist on global business, trade policy, labor, and the latest economic trends. In this episode we discuss expected affects of the U.S. election results, the trade war with China, investing in young farmers, and...

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Nov 24 11:36 AM, Urner Barry



U.S. Shoppers Shift Shopping Strategies to Brace for Recessionary Effects

A much more discerning grocery shopper is emerging in the wake of initial widespread panic-buying sparked by COVID-19 this past spring that led consumers to disregard prices and stock up on products and ingredients required to prepare the entirety of their family meals at home. Retailers and their trading partners responded as rapidly as possible to the sudden spikes in demand by pulling back on promotional efforts and focusing on their supply chains to keep up, which led to higher prices on 64% of more than 500 grocery store categories.

The short-term result? FMCG sales shot up $77.9 billion across all U.S. channels for the 52 weeks ended Sept. 12, 2020, translating to year-over-year growth of 9.3%. While this lift was astounding for the retail industry, it’s time for stakeholders to...

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Sep 30 8:21 AM, General News


Rabobank's Poultry Quarterly Q4 2020: The Challenge of Balancing Volatile Markets 

Moving through Q4 2020 and into 2021, the global poultry industry will operate in a volatile market context, with pressure coming from foodservice and wholesale markets. Possible new waves of Covid-19 will add to the market ups and downs, and the impact of a deep economic crisis will make markets more price-driven.

“Over the whole year, we expect a slight increase in global poultry production, mostly as a result of poultry expansion in China and Vietnam, where African swine fever has reduced pork availability, and also from expansion in the US. The rest of the world will be...

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Sep 29 8:23 AM, General News


100,000 Restaurants Closed Six Months into Pandemic

Six months following the first shutdown of restaurants for the coronavirus pandemic, the restaurant industry is in limbo. According to a new survey released by the National Restaurant Association, nearly 1 in 6 restaurants (representing nearly 100,000 restaurants) is closed either permanently or long-term; nearly 3 million employees are still out of work; and the industry is on track to lose $240 billion in sales by the end of the year.

The survey, which asked restaurant operators about the six-month impact of the pandemic on their businesses, found that overwhelmingly, most restaurants are still struggling to survive and don't expect their position to improve over the next six months. The findings include...

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Sep 15 8:22 AM, General News


Imports Spike as Economy Continues Recovery and Retailers Stock Up for Holidays

Imports surged to unexpected high levels this summer and may have hit a new record as the U.S. economy continues to reopen and retailers stock up for the holiday season, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“It’s important to be careful how much to read into these numbers after all we’ve seen this year, but retailers are importing far more merchandise for the holidays than we expected even a month ago,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Some of these imports are helping replenish inventories that started to run low after...

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Sep 11 8:21 AM, General News


NRF Chief Economist Says Coronavirus 'Continues As a Shock' for Small Businesses

Data indicating that small business owners are increasingly pessimistic about the coronavirus shows the need for continued economic stimulus measures, National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said today.

“The coronavirus continues as a shock to America’s small employers,” Kleinhenz said. “Small businesses are the backbone of American ingenuity and impact local economies in cities and towns across the country, but responses to recent surveys highlight the fragility of many small business enterprises and the importance of the need for well-tailored economic policy.”

“Just as a physician checks a patient’s pulse to measure the rhythm and strength of the heartbeat, small business is...

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Sep 2 8:36 AM, General News


NRF Chief Economist Says Pandemic Recession Could Already be Easing but 'No One Has a Crystal Ball'

The economic downturn brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has officially been declared a recession, but National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said today the key question is how long it will last.

“Will this recession be briefer than earlier recessions?” Kleinhenz said. “No one has a crystal ball. And just as it can take months to be certain a recession has begun, it can take time to declare when one is over.”

“While it would be unusual for a recession to last less than six months, it is possible that the current one could have already ended with May’s rebound,” Kleinhenz said. “The good news is that the recession may have...

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Jul 2 11:26 AM, General News


Uncertainty Surrounds the Reopening of Businesses

While the reopening of businesses shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic is a significant step forward, the rate at which the economy will recover or consumers will feel comfortable resuming activities such as dining out or shopping remains to be seen.

“Is it possible the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is behind us? Maybe, but we are not out of the woods yet, and uncertainty abounds,” said National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz.

Kleinhenz added, “Predicting what will happen is even more challenging than usual. While history often helps guide us, previous downturns offer little guidance on what is likely to unfold over the next six to 12 months. There is no user’s manual in which government, businesses or consumers can find...

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Jun 3 8:07 AM, Urner Barry


Mintel: The Current Economic Environment Compared to The Great Recession 

Mintel has released new research analyzing the current economic environment compared to that of the Great Recession, including insight on the economic indicators that will play a role in predicting consumer spending in the months and years ahead.

While the economy is in decline today, the factors leading to the last recession, its duration, and lasting impact on consumers are (and will be) very different this time around.

Why this time it’s different

The Great Recession was largely impacted by failures in the housing and banking industries. Today, the crisis is out of human control, and one we can’t yet solve. What’s more, the financial system today is...

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May 13 8:14 AM, General News


NRF Chief Economist: Recovery Likely to Come in 'Fits and Starts'

With some stores starting to reopen as governors lift stay-at-home orders across the country, economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is likely to come gradually and may vary by location, National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said.

“Getting back to work or shopping in a pre-virus manner is difficult to predict at this time, with households likely to tiptoe back in rather than making an immediate return to the lives they experienced before,” Kleinhenz said. “As states begin to slowly reopen and assuming the coronavirus does not come back, the economy should begin a process of gradual recovery. My overall impression is that the recovery will have fits and starts among states, regions and cities depending on...

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May 8 8:07 AM, General News


Retail Industry Leaders Inform President Trump’s Advisory Group on Reopening the U.S. Economy

The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay in response to his participation with other retail industry and business leaders on a White House call for the initiation of the Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups.

“Retailers are on the front line and fully engaged in their communities in this war against coronavirus. The health of their associates, customers and communities is their number one priority.

We are grateful to President Trump, Vice President Pence and Secretary Mnuchin for bringing together some of the most successful business leaders in the world to gather their perspective on how...

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Apr 16 2:04 PM, General News


NRF Chief Economist: Stopping the Pandemic is First Step to Restoring Sound Economy

In the April issue of the National Retail Federation’s Monthly Economic Review, NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz says the coronavirus pandemic “has triggered shocks” – but that the underlying economy is sound.

“How quickly the country gets a handle on containing the virus will determine the degree of the impact on the economy and how soon businesses can reopen,” Kleinhenz wrote in the report. “We expect a severe contraction, and if the nation doesn’t get the virus under control the fallout will be worse.”

Gross domestic product that was growing at a 2.1 percent annual rate at the end of 2019 is “about to go into a mandated nosedive,” according to the report. And retail sales data for March...

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Apr 3 8:24 AM, General News


Technomic: Potential Economic Shock from Coronavirus Pandemic is Unprecedented 

There is wide disagreement about whether COVID-19 will be an economic shock with a sharp recovery or if it will pull the economy into a sluggish recession. The previous worst quarter in U.S. history for GDP was Q2 2009, immediately after the economic crash. That quarter, the GDP dove by 3.9%, a fraction of the projections we are seeing as a result of COVID-19. The economic shock from this event is unprecedented.

Consumer spending on foodservice continues to drop. For the average consumer, Technomic research suggests that spending has declined by an estimated 45% from a typical week in February, with further planned reductions expected to come. Consumer demand is still present in the marketplace, but as the pandemic has heightened and concerns have grown, a new normal is setting in. Shelter-in-place and social distancing actions have resulted in...

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Apr 3 8:22 AM, General News


Job Report Numbers Show 2020 is Off to a Good Start

Starting the year on a strong note, the US economy added 225,000 jobs in January and the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 3.6 percent. Today's job report provides more evidence of accelerating employment growth, with the last three months averaging 211,000 new jobs. Stronger employment growth may reflect growing confidence of employers, as some of the geopolitical risks -- such as the US-China trade spat -- subsided in recent months.

Amid stagnant growth in the working-age population, strong employment growth will likely further tighten the labor market in 2020. As a result, we can expect increasing challenges around...

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Feb 10 8:14 AM, General News




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