James Cannon is an experienced hedge fund analyst. He has served on the advisory boards for various different Fortune 500 companies as well as serving as an adjunct professor of finance. James Cannon has written for a variety of Financial Magazines both on and off line. Contact James at james[at]businessdistrict.com
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Music producer BMG (Bertelsmann Music Group) is moving to larger digs just up the street in Los Angeles. In keeping with their preference for having everything under one roof, BMG is moving into a two-floor, 30,000-square-foot space at 5670 Wilshire Boulevard. The new location is just seven blocks east of their old location, 6100 Wilshire.
Currently BMG has 135 employees in Los Angeles, but they plan on growing this coming year.
BMG launched a new facility two months ago in Nashville. The new space brings together the company’s publishing business, as well as its copyright and loyalty divisions under the name BBR Music Group, located at 1 Music Circle South.
In addition, BMG opened a new office in New York at 1 Park Avenue only one and a half years ago.
The new Wilshire office will be the home of the company’s west coast publishing and recording teams, its synch and licensing, film and books groups, plus BMG Production Music.
“Los Angeles is our largest-grossing operation in our largest market, and this marks another significant investment in our fast-growing US business. It is consistent with BMG’s philosophy – all our services under one roof, operating off the same platform, and taking a global perspective.”
BMG was founded in 2008 and headquartered in Berlin, Germany, the same week Spotify launched. It began with only three people in one shared office. By 2019 BMG has 15 offices in 12 countries with 850 employees.
The monthly jobs report for October 2019 showed a slowdown, falling to a seven-year low for new hires. In addition, fewer employees are raising wages. Only 20% of companies surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics said companies have taken on new workers during the last three months.
In July of this year closer to one-third of companies hired more workers. Octobers figures are the lowest they have fallen since October 2012.
The data comes at a time when many businesses are reporting that sales growth and profit increases are slowing down. Many economists predict that the economy will grow more slowly during 2020, partly due to rising tariffs which force companies to raise prices, which reduce sales.
In addition, companies may worry over an economy perceived as weakening, causing them to refrain from hiring new workers, offer higher salaries, or otherwise invest in growth.
About 67% of economists that took the survey predicted that the economy will grow at about 1.1% to about 2% from Q3 2019 to Q3 2020. Last year economists guessed that the economy would grow between 2.1% and 3% from Q3 2018 to Q3 2019.
The candy business truly booms for Halloween. It is expected that this year over 160 million Americans will be spending about 2.6 billion dollars just on candy for this arguably bizarre sort of holiday. This story does not consider the other accessories one needs to ‘celebrate’ this day in style, such as: costumes ($3.2 billion), decorations ($2.7 billion), and party paraphernalia.
Kids bring home from their “trick-or-treating” adventure an average of between 3,500 and 7,000 calories worth of candy. If they at all that loot, a 100-pound child would need to walk for 44 hours or play full-court basketball for 14.5 hours to work of all those extra calories. Parents might want to think about the size of the loot bag they send with their little ones. One pillowcase can hold a mind-boggling almost 1,700 pieces of candy. Better off with a sandwich bag.
About half of the US population, or 163 million people, celebrate Halloween, and 95% of the entire population of 327 million go out and buy candy.
Another way to look at all the candy that is purchased during Halloween is to imagine “six Titanics” worth of candy in weight, which would come out to over 300,000 tons. That’s a lot of pillowcases. That is an unbelievable 2 pounds of candy for every American, man, woman and child. In addition to all this candy, which includes candy corn kernels, lollypops, and other sugary treats, 90 million pounds of chocolate are also purchased by consumers during the week of the Halloween sugar storm. An no wonder. Also, chocolate was the favorite Halloween treat among 70% of respondents, followed by candy corn, chewy candy and gummy candy.
As incredible as all this candy consumption sounds during Halloween, even more candy is sold in the US during Easter.
FedEx Corp’s subsidiary, FedEx Freight announced it will be expanding its pilot Direct e-commerce pilot program to 80% of the population living in the contiguous United States.
The service offers delivery of large items like furniture, appliances, and other bulky products, known as “less-than-truckload” or LTL, right to the consumers domicile or businesses.
“Today’s consumers are just as comfortable purchasing a television or sofa online as they are groceries or books,” said Brie Carere, FedEx executive vice president and chief marketing and communications officer. “We’re seeing more oversized items move through our global network. FedEx Freight Direct is critical to addressing these challenges as part of our growing e-commerce portfolio.”
Beginning in 2001 FedEx Freight has been offering fast delivery time or cheaper delivery with the understanding by costumers that they can trade one for the other, either saving time at the expense of higher cost, or saving money at the expense of longer transit time.
The Memphis-based company has 370 service centers with over 115,000 LTL shipments everyday in Canada, USA, and Mexico. They have 25,000 trucks moving the merchandise, and 45,000 employees.
According to the US Labor Department, the unemployment rate for the month of September 2019 fell to only 3.5% from 3.7% the previous month. An additional 136,000 jobs were added to the economy.
There was also additional retroactive good news as August’s figures for job growth was updated to 168,000 instead of what had been reported to be 130,000. Some manufacturing jobs last month while wage growth held steady.
The increase in jobs in September was below what has been the monthly average of about 161,000 for the year, but it was still above the number the economy requires every month to stay in line with the growth of the working age population, which is 100,000. The manufacturing sector lost 2,000 jobs in September, after employing an additional 2,000 workers in August.
Manufacturing has been doing poorly across the globe, but it is less a factor in employment than it has been in the past, since modern economies have been transferring away from reliance on this sector.
Despite the positive news on jobs, however, will probably not relieve the pressure on Federal Reserve head Jerome Powell to cut interest rates. The US Federal Reserve Bank cut interest rates for the first time since 2008 in July, and then did it again in September. The bank would like to keep what is so far the longest economic expansion in US history–11 years—moving forward.