Most of Bill’s current writings appear on Forbes.com where he is a Senior Contributor.

Consumer Confidence: Beware the Headline

The Wall Street Journal headline:  "Consumer Confidence Soars Amid Strong Start to 2006" Now take a look at the data: That last data point, the small increase, is confidence soaring.  In truth, confidence is pretty …
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Producer Prices Down Nicely

Inflation in producer prices declined nicely in February–but the statisticians haven’t yet tallied this month’s gasoline costs.  The government report showed a large decline in energy costs.  Here’s what’s not to like: even excluding food …
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Production Headline Better Than Reality

Industrial production rose nicely in February, but the gain was primarily due to utilities having more business in February than in unseasonably-mild January.  The better gauge for month-to-month fluctuations is industrial production in the manufacturing …
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Value Pricing on Airlines

Northwest Airlines is going to start charging premium prices for exit row seats and for aisle seats.  Although I dislike the complexity of airline pricing, it does make sense to price up for a valuable …
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Banks Competing on Deposits

Last week I sent my banker friends an article about the coming funding crunch: loan growth will exceed deposit growth in 2006.  I recommended that banks engage in serious efforts to beef up core deposits …
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Retail Sales look better than headline.

The retail sales report looks OK, despite the decline in January. I look at the last data point (February) and see that it’s in line with the recent trend line. Business implication:  consumers are continuing …
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