The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)

Its FIRST estimate of fourth quarter GDP on Friday morning reports:

Real Gross Domestic Product-the value of the production of goods and services in the United States, adjusted for price changes-increased at an annual rate of 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014. In the third quarter real GDP increased 5.0 percent. The Bureau emphasized that the fourth quarter advance estimate is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency. The “second” estimate for the fourth quarter will be released on February 27, 2015.”

The Texas Manufacturing Activity Survey, released Monday morning, reported:

Texas factory activity was flat in January according to business executives responding to the survey, the production index indicated output was essentially unchanged from December. Capacity utilization fell as did the shipments index which plunged. The new orders index registered its first negative reading since April 2013. Perceptions of broader business conditions worsened this month with both the general business activity index and the company outlook index both dropping below zero for the first time in 20 months.”

The Richmond Fed issued its survey of manufacturing activity for January:

Manufacturing activity expanded at a modest pace…shipments increased at a faster pace this month while the volume of new orders remained steady…manufacturers were optimistic about future business conditions. Firms expected faster growth in shipments and new orders in the six months ahead.

The US Department of Commerce issued its full report on Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories and Orders for NOVEMBER 2014:

  • New orders for manufactured durable goods, down four consecutive months, decreased 0.7 percent.
  • Shipments of manufactured durable goods in November, down three of the last four months, decreased 0.6 percent.
  • Unfilled orders of manufactured durable goods in November, up nineteen of the last twenty months, increased 0.4 percent.
  • Inventories of manufactured durable goods in November, up twenty four of the last twenty five months, increased 0.1 percent.

US Raw Steel Production

It rose 1.1 percent from the prior week as mills operated at an ACUR of 75.9 percent. In the corresponding week last year mills operated at an ACUR of 75.8 percent. Thus far this year mills have operated at an ACUR of 76.7 percent up 1.2 percent from the same period last year.

The Midwest Economy Index (MEI)

Released on Friday, January 30, 2015, it reports:

continued strength in the manufacturing sector. December’s value for the relative MEI indicates that Midwest economic growth was somewhat higher than would typically be suggested by the growth rate of the national economy.”

Institute for Supply Management (ISM)

Released on Friday, January 30, 2015, the Chicago Business Barometer reports:

The Chicago Business Barometer stabilized in January following two consecutive monthly declines with continued firm growth in orders and output driving employment to a 14 month high.

The Chicago Business Barometer edged up 0.6 point to 59.4 in January from a revised 58.8 in December following the publication of new seasonal factors earlier in the month. Business activity was led by a modest advance in New Orders while Order Backlogs was the second largest contributor to the Barometer’s faster expansion. Production also increased between December and January following two consecutive falls.”

International Concerns

ISIS beheaded one of its Japanese hostages over the weekend because the Japanese government refused to pay a $200 million ransom demand. Do NOT negotiate with terrorists, it is a path to destruction.

The Senate this week passed a bill to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline.

It is headed to the presidents’ desk where it is likely to be vetoed. Six years of this garbage, arguing back and forth…not about the reality but about politics. I’m glad they are looking out for us, aren’t you?

Mitt Romney has elected not to run for the presidency in 2016.

I know the pundits were against his running because of his poor showing in 2012…but I still like the guy. I see him as a patriot, a good American who truly wants to help the country and the people in it; hopefully he will stay active in conservative politics. Hopefully a Teddy Roosevelt type will ride to the aid of the country in her time of extreme need.


The savior of the middle class (in his own mind) proposed taxing the 529 college savings accounts in his State of the Union address. The average amount held in these accounts is around $20,000.00 and the majority of account holders are clearly “middle class” citizens (who always bear the brunt of tax increases no matter what anyone tells you). Leaders from both parties voiced widespread criticism of the proposed move and the president has since dropped his plans to further screw the hard working citizens of the USA.

Exactly what is it the president does NOT understand about “NO”? the American people voted in resoundingly in November to STOP the excessive government spending (among other things) yet today (1/29/15) he has proposed increasing government spending by 7%-or $74 BILLION over caps he and congressional Republicans agreed to in a bipartisan deficit-reduction deal three years ago. Unbelievable.

Enjoy the Super Bowl this weekend.

Should be a competitive and exciting game, to be sure we have seen some incredible duds in the past 48 years but I expect to see something better this Sunday evening.


Fast & Furious-providing weapons to criminals leading to a loss of American life. No one held accountable. The president was unaware.
The loss of 4 American lives at our embassy in Benghazi, Libya. No one held accountable. The president was unaware.
The IRS targeting conservative political groups for tax-exempt status. No one held accountable. The president was unaware.
The National Security Administration eavesdropping on the phone calls of American citizens. No one held accountable. The president was unaware.
The software program created for the Affordable Healthcare Act, at a cost of $1 billion (thus far) and 3 ½ years to “perfect”, has been unusable to the American people. No one held accountable. The president was unaware.
Spying on our Allies, specifically Angela Merkel of Germany. No one held accountable. The president was unaware. (Although these things go on knowingly between countries all the time, the fact that our president denies knowledge of this is just another sign of his incompetence as the leader of the most powerful country on the planet).
“If you like your current insurance plan you can keep it. Period” Barack Obama
“If you like your doctor, you can keep him. Period” Barack Obama

Have a great weekend and….

Hug your children and grandchildren, tell them you love them.
Buy American made products whenever you can.
Hire a Veteran: they are patriots, honest, hard working, disciplined, loyal…. and …. They need and deserve our support.

God Bless America