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

Rockies & Sunbelt look good

State personal income shows fastest growth in the Rockies and the Sunbelt.  The common factor is rapid population growth.  Folks are moving into these regions, pushing personal income up. On a per capita basis, the …
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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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