Category Archives: Economy

Inventories Up: Economy Moving Forward

June’s data show that US business inventories realized their largest increase in seven months as retailers continue to re-stock at an accelerated pace in reaction to an increase in demand for goods at home.

According to the Commerce Department business inventories climbed by 0.5 percent after an unrevised increase of 0.3 percent in May.

Inventories are considered an important component of the country’s gross domestic product. Retail inventories did even better, rising by 0.6 percent in June and the same percentage in May.

Stock of motor vehicles surged by 0.7 percent after an even higher rise of 1.2 percent in May.

Retail inventories, not including cars, which are included in the calculation for GDP, went up 0.5 percent, up from 0.2 percent in May.

Inventory investment did not have an impact on the 2.6 percent annualized growth rate of the second quarter of this year, after severing off 1.46 percentage points at the beginning of the year.

Unexpected Slowing of US Economy Worries Wall Street

June showed a marked slowdown in business activity in the US private sector, bringing worry to some analysts and investors.

Market research group ISH Markit published a report saying that its flash services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) dropped to 53.0 during June. May’s PMI was 53.6. June’s figure was a three-month low.

Analyst had been expecting a services PMI of 53.7, an indication of a stronger economy.
Since the service sector comprises about 80% of the US economy the services PMI data is a key for understanding economic growth.

The manufacturing PMI, according to Markit, also fell in June, from 52.7 in May to 52.1 this past month. Analysts were also expecting that PMI to be 53.0.

PMI values above 50 represent a growing economy, while figures below 50 indicate a shrinking economy. The overall PMI of services and manufacturing together fell to 53.0 in June from May’s value of 53.6. However, new orders climbed at their fastest rate in five months, leaving room for optimism about the US economy.

Chris Williamson of HIS Markit said that although it is likely that growth will be higher in the second quarter than it was in the first, “the relatively subdued PMI readings suggest there are some downside risks to the extent to which GDP will rebound.”

Nursing Homes: The Business of Ecopsychosocial Interaction

Nursing homes for elderly and those suffering with senior-related conditions such as Parkinson’s, Altzheimer’s and dementia, are becoming an increasingly popular choice for family member caretakers. The entire nursing home industry has progressed in leaps and bounds over the years – a trend that will not be slowing down any time soon – due to advances in technology and a greater understanding of senior needs due to the baby boomer generation.

What can nursing homes offer that at home care is less able to? In places like Queens, New York, facilities such as the Dry Harbor Nursing Home have staff regularly interacting with residents, bolstering their brain functioning. Even – and indeed especially – with those who have dementia, ecopsychosocial interaction occurs where by residents are asked about their interests, how to celebrate the life of one of their friends who has passed on, what music they like, past vacation memories etc.

But this runs deeper than just simple engagement. What happens with this approach is that those suffering from cognitive issues and memory loss will slowly be imbued with a greater sense of independence and control. The fundamental idea is that those with these cognitive issues are treated holistically and not just as a patient.

When looking at this from a business perspective, the senior home choice also makes sense. Getting the best care and the best opportunity to live a higher quality of life makes more sense than having these individuals “treated” in different places at different times. This all-encompassing treatment that occurs at places such as the Dry Harbor Nursing Home, provides for a one-place environment to better care for our elderly members.

Indeed, at the recent Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC 2017) held in London, American, British and Israeli researchers presented data from four trials showing how this type of treatment had substantially improved quality of life and had even been able to reduce the use of antipsychotic drugs. As well, residents were more able to care for themselves.

Nursing homes are definitely much more geared to a) approach seniors from a holistic perspective and b) enhance quality of life for longer.

Fund Managers to Follow

Certainly, it is human nature to feel more comfortable with people who put their money where their mouth is. A fund manager, for instance, who invests in the funds that he supports professionally is showing that he trusts the work he’s doing and that he stands by it. To this end, the M&M Investment Company have identified management teams that do just this; they have the largest personal holdings in the funds they manage. Here are three of them:

Christopher Mills is the chief executive and investment manager of North Atlantic Smaller Companies Investment Trust plc and chief investment officer of Harwood Capital LLP. He founded Harwood Capital Management in 2011 and he is a non-executive director of several companies.

Simon Borrows of the 3i Group is another executive on the list. He was appointed as the chief executive in May of 2012, after joining 3i in October of 2011 as the Chief Investment Officer. He spent 13 years with Greenhill & Co. before joining 3i and he founded the European business of Greenhill and was co-president of the group on its floatation on the NYSE in 2004.

Finally, Reade Griffith is a founding partner of Polygon and a Principal of Tetragon Financial Management LP. He is on the Tetragon board of directors. Prior to being the founder of Polygon, he founded and was the CEO of the European office of Citadel Investment Group.

 

Three Women of Many from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University

It’s no surprise to the people at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University that their alumni are making it in the news and in political discourse around the world. Maxwell is one of the 12 schools and colleges of Syracuse University and is home to interdisciplinary teaching and research in the social sciences, public policy, public administration and international relations. They have undergraduate programs, master’s programs and PhD programs. Here, we feature three such alumni and the work that they are doing.

Emily Newman, with a MPA from Maxwell, was recently named to City and State magazine’s “40 Under 40 Rising Stars” for the work that she is doing as first deputy commissioner in the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services. This is an award given to individuals who work in NYC government, advocacy, media and related areas of expertise.
Sonya Reines-Djivanides, who works in Brussels, Belgium, received a Master of Arts in International Relations from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. Today, she is the executive director of the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO). This is an independent platform of NGOs and think tanks that work to prevent violent conflicts. Prior to this, she was the chair of the EPLO’s steering committee and the director of the Brussels Headquarters of Search for Common Ground.
Another woman, Sheridan Marfil, graduated from the Maxwell School with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations. She is now the director of digital outreach at Subject Matter. This is a public relations and communications company based out of Washington D.C. They have a particular focus in public affairs and they pair legislative and policy expertise with their advertising, digital, content and media abilities. She manages the digital strategies and conducts the digital outreach efforts.
These are three of the hundreds of examples of Maxwell alumni who are making great strides in the world of public policy, public administration and beyond.