Meeting Financing Challenges Faced by Contractors

10:33 11 July in Blog

Contractors face unique challenges maintaining working capital and securing adequate financing. This is because of the unique business model under which most contractors operate. Typically, a construction contract involves a builder or developer who has an underlying loan. The loan terms generally involve the builder or developer drawing down funds as the project progresses.

This means the contractor is incurring costs before they receive any funds from the project. Additionally, once the contractor has completed a specific portion of the project, they still have to wait for funding to be paid to them from the builder or developer. Contractor costs begin the minute they deploy labor, hire a sub-contractor or secure materials to work on a project.

Banking Lines of Credit Often Elusive

For many contractors, securing a line of credit can be a real challenge. The reasons for this are numerous including the fact many construction projects last for several months or years meaning the contractor may be using their limited amount of working capital while working on a project month after month. These types of working capital drains do not allow a contractor to work on multiple projects at the same time and build up a backlog of work and successfully complete the existing contract on time and on budget bode well for a contractor who needs to secure capital to continue a project.   Most contractors have full-time staff members, equipment costs, and supply costs to contend with on a regular basis. This presents some unique financial challenges when they are involved in a labor-intensive job with payment coming later.

Cash Flow Issues Plague Contractors

When a contractor has numerous projects at the same time, working capital gets stretched thin. While they are paying their employees, covering normal operating costs, and purchasing supplies, they could be waiting 30 to 75 days after the completed the work 30 days earlier in the prior month.  Should their working capital cash flow be insufficient to meet their obligations, they could be facing additional challenges meeting payroll or securing materials to fulfill their contracts. This is one of the primary reasons why many contractors use spot invoice factoring to meet their cash flow needs during projects.

Spot Invoice Factoring Offers Relief

One of the options contractors have when trying to address their cash flow needs is spot invoice factoring. This process allows a contractor to obtain working capital within a day or two of issuing an invoice versus waiting 30 to 75 days until the builder or developer pays their invoice. This process allows a contractor to meet their financial obligations, purchase materials, and continue working on multiple projects while they are waiting for invoices to be paid.

Construction Financing for General Contractors

Another option available to contractors is factoring for the contract period. By executing a Master Purchase and Sale Agreement with Capstone, you can gain working capital multiple contracts covering several projects at a time ensuring that each subcontractor and material men are paid in a timely manner.  Bringing jobs in on time and on budget will make sure that you are able to negotiate the next contract with the project owner versus bidding against other contractors. Capstone understands you must pay subcontractors to get the job done and you may have more than one project underway at a time. Additionally, you want to secure the materials you need for current projects as well as have the freedom to bid or negotiate on new contracts while you are working on existing projects.

In addition to offering spot invoice factoring, Capstone also utilizes a system designed specifically for contractors known as ClearPay.This system allows contractors to fully vet their subcontractors, put bonds in place to ensure they meet the terms of the contract, and still have access to the cash they need to complete project requirements without going into debt. Capstone offers this program because we understand the unique challenges you face as a contractor. We help make introductions to Sureties we work with if issuing bonds to project owners is required subcontractors you are working with are going to complete the job in a timely manner as per your contract.

If you are a contractor and you need help developing a funding program that works to meet your specific needs, contact Capstone by emailing us at [email protected] or call us at (212) 755-3636 and let us help you develop a funding package that helps meet your unique needs.

Funding Opportunities and Small Business Industry News

10:34 14 January in Blog, Business Funding

As the year approaches the end, it is time to focus on what steps we could be taking to increase business during 2019. On this front, there is plenty of good news for small businesses, particularly those who are designated as minority-owned, those businesses which have a HUBZone designation, or Service-Disabled Veteran Owned.

Increased Government Contracts May be Available

The U.S. Treasury Department recently released information about the potential of increased contracts during Fiscal Year 2019 for businesses with the previously mentioned designations. This is great news for those businesses who wish to start doing business with the federal government since this is a great way to grow your business.

Understanding the Designations

Small businesses may not be aware they could be eligible for prioritization to win government contracts. Here are the descriptions of each of the categories where your business may have priority over other businesses when it comes to bidding, and winning government contracts.

  • Minority-Owned Business — a small business where the ownership is at least 51 percent controlled by a minority population may request minority-owned designation. Minority is defined as those identifying with specific groups including Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American.
  • HUBZone Designated — small businesses located across the United States may be surprised to learn they are in a HUBZone. Currently, the commitment is that at least three percent of all government contracts will be awarded to businesses who fall into this category.
  • Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned — these businesses are owned and operated by one or more veterans who have service-related disabilities. Another important note to be aware of is the day-to-day operations must also be managed by a veteran. Overall, there is a commitment to award three percent of contracts to small businesses meeting this criterion. This is in addition to the commitment made by the Veteran’s Administration utilizing the Veterans First Contracting Program.

Rising Wages, Low Interest, Greater Competition

More small business owners are being forced to consider increasing wages because of the tightening labor markets. However, this is not necessarily bad news since interest rates are still well under control. Thanks to some regulations being modified, there is also a lessening of restrictions on small businesses.

During October of 2018, most small business owners believe it is a good time for them to continue to increase hiring, invest more in their businesses and many have experienced greater sales. While this is all positive, most small business owners still feel access to capital is one of the challenges of operating their small business.

Financing Your Growth

Fortunately, small businesses, particularly those who wish to do business with the government have options. Businesses often need additional resources to place successful bids, which in many cases, may be out of reach for a small business owner either financially, or simply due to a lack of contacts.

Capstone Capital Group can help! We have experience helping small minority-owned businesses get the credit they need to grow their business. We also offer a range of services designed to help you get the resources you need to successfully bid on government contracts.

We have helped with non-legal contract reviews, providing bid support letters, and helping minority-owned businesses get the accounting, estimating, and engineering referrals they need to support their bid.

For more information on Capstone’s diverse funding programs, please contact us at (212) 755-3636 to speak with a representative today. Our highly trained, professional representatives will work with you to obtain a minority business loan and start growing your business today. Let us put our years of experience to work and help you grow your business in 2019.

Understanding Borrowing Against Accounts Receivables

09:00 16 May in Blog, Business Funding

Small and medium-sized businesses often face temporary cash flow problems, especially if they don’t understand borrowing against accounts receivables. The difference in time between issuing an invoice and getting paid for that invoice is often between 30 and 90 days. This delay in receiving payment can result in a business facing challenges purchasing new material for products, meeting payroll obligations, or meeting monthly expenses such as utilities or rent.

In these cases, meeting cash flow requirements is a necessity and businesses often turn to accounts receivable financing as an option. Some business owners avoid this type of financing because they do not understand what it means or how it works.

Accounts Receivable Factoring

There are two separate options a business owner can use to borrow money against their accounts receivable.

One is to work with a factoring company who takes control of your receivables. Using this method, a company delivers products, sends clients their invoices and the factoring company advances the company a portion of their invoices. The client in turn pays the invoice to the factoring company and once payment is received, the factoring company pays the business the balance of the invoice less their fees.

In most cases, this type of factoring involves a long-term contract between the factoring company and the business.

Spot Accounts Receivable Financing

Another common way to get cash against accounts receivable is known as spot factoring. This method of borrowing against accounts receivables is used when a business needs an immediate infusion of cash for any purpose.

For example, a business may have taken on a new contract and needs cash to purchase materials to fulfill that contract. Instead of borrowing money from the bank, the business owner decides to factor one or more of their client’s invoices.

The advantage of this type of financing is the company does not have to have a long-term contract, they get to decide which accounts receivables to factor, and they get the cash they need, typically within a few business days.

Impact on Balance Sheet

One of the reasons a business owner may opt to borrow against their accounts receivable rather than taking out a loan is the impact on their balance sheet.

When a company factors their invoices, they get an infusion of cash which shows as a positive on their balance sheet, and they do not take on any new debt.

The other advantage of accounts receivable financing is a company typically does not have to sacrifice partial ownership of their company to get much-needed capital as they may have to with other types of financing.

Borrowing Against Accounts Receivables Advantages Over Traditional Borrowing

One advantage a company will find when they opt to borrow against accounts receivables is the time it takes to access funds. A traditional factoring situation means a company often has access to cash within a few days of submitting their invoices to the factoring company. With a traditional loan, borrowers can wait weeks, and in some cases, months before getting approval for a loan.

For most company owners, the other advantage of factoring over typical bank loans is restrictions on how funds are used. When a company applies for a bank loan, the bank may place limits on how the funds may be used which can tie the hands of a business owner. You know best what you need funds for and when you borrow money against your accounts receivable, the factoring company typically does not place restrictions on how the funds you receive are used.

Capstone Capital Groups offers a range of accounts receivable financing options for small and medium-size business owners. Contact us today by email at [email protected] or call us at (212) 755-3636 and let us see how we can help you better manage your cash flow by helping you borrow against your accounts receivable.

Understanding Invoice Lending and How it Works

01:32 09 May in Blog, Business Funding

When you have a need for cash, and you prefer to not borrow money, one option is to get a cash advance on your invoices. Invoice lending, more commonly referred to as factoring, is used by small and medium-sized businesses to help meet their cash flow needs.

How Invoice Lending Works

Invoice lending allows you to provide product to your customers on credit. Once the product has been delivered and the customer has been billed, you can submit the invoice to a factoring company and get cash based on the face value of the invoice.

This method of financing allows you to offer credit terms to your customers, get the cash you need before the 30, 60, or 90-day terms you have offered your customers and turn over the collection of the invoice to the factoring company.

Another advantage of invoice lending is that you typically can determine which invoices you want to factor. Whether you wish to consider factoring a single client, or a specific group of clients, most invoice factoring companies offer that flexibility.

Time to Obtain Funds

One of the most common reasons why a company would use invoice lending is the time between submitting invoices and obtaining funds. In most cases, you can submit an invoice and receive cash within a few business days. This can be helpful to a small or medium-sized business owner who needs immediate cash to make payroll or pay monthly bills.

Unlike a bank loan, or lines of credit which can take weeks to get approved, business owners can get a nearly immediate advance on their accounts receivable. Once your invoice has been approved by the factoring company, you will get a percentage of the face value of your invoice.

Collections of Balance Due on Invoices

When you borrow money against an invoice, you are no longer responsible for collecting the payment for the invoice. The factoring company who made the cash advance will follow up on collections. Once your customer has paid the invoice in full, the balance of the invoice, less the factoring fee will be released to you. Typically, payments will be redirected to a lockbox controlled by the factoring company.

What Type of Companies are Eligible?

One of the many challenges businesses face is having sufficient funding for their day-to-day operations. While banks, and other traditional lenders tend to focus on businesses who have been around for a while, with regular cash flow, a factoring company is often willing to accept more risk. This is because they are loaning you money based on a specific asset, namely your invoices.

Because of how factoring companies work, more businesses are typically eligible for this type of lending. Subcontractors including electricians, staffing agencies, architects and more can benefit from invoice lending. Other types of businesses that often use invoice lending to maintain a steady cash flow include manufacturers, contractors, and suppliers.

Improvement in Cash Flow

Some business owners are faced with seasonal swings in business revenue. This can often result in them being unable to take on new contracts because they do not have the cash flow needed to fund materials for a new customer. Invoice lending can help business owners who are facing a temporary cash flow problem meet their obligations and take on new contracts.

If you are concerned about the cash flow outlook for your business, contact Capstone Capital Group by email at [email protected] or by phone at 347-410-9697. We are a private finance company offering numerous solutions to help small and medium-sized businesses meet their cash flow needs.

Understanding the Typical Types of Factoring

09:13 04 May in Blog, Business Funding

Factoring is a financing arrangement that is typically used by small and medium-sized businesses to help them maintain a steady cash flow. As every business owner understands, cash flow is important to ensure the successful, continuous operation of their business. This is why it’s important to know the different types of factoring.

In general, factoring means a company is turning over their invoices to a third party in return for receiving a portion of those invoices in cash within a few business days. Primarily, there are two types of factoring, recourse factoring and non-recourse factoring.

What is Recourse Factoring?

As a business owner, you are assuming a certain risk when you extend credit to a customer. Typically, the more reliable a client, the more favorable the terms you are offering. Some businesses even offer a discount if a client pays more rapidly. This type of factoring is called recourse factoring.

In fact, it is common for a company to issue an invoice with two separate terms such as offering a 5 percent discount if paid in 15 days and a 90-day net pricing. This means the client has 90 days to pay the invoice in full. Should the client not pay their bill in full at this time, the company would then begin collection activities which may involve refusing to ship additional product, having their accounts receivable department call the company about payment and in some cases, adding on a fee for late payment.

When customers refuse to pay, the business may turn over the collection activity to a collection agent or attorney.

However, if the business has opted to finance the invoice with a factoring company, they no longer must be concerned about collecting payment for the invoice.

The factoring company takes over the risk associated with the invoice, and the client is indebted to them. Om return, your business receives a portion of the face value of the invoice and the balance is held by the factoring company until the company pays the invoice. If the company fails to pay the invoice, the factoring company may ask you to substitute another invoice of similar value in its place.

This is known as recourse factoring.

What is Non-Recourse Factoring?

In some instances when a company borrows money, they are putting up assets such as equipment, real estate, or equity in the business. This allows the lender to seize, and in some instances, liquidate the asset to make themselves whole.

If the agreement between the borrower and lender calls for “no recourse” it means the lender has no option to turn to the business owner for any shortfall between what the company owed the lender, and what the liquidated assets provided.

In the case of non-recourse factoring, however, there is a slightly different meaning. When you deliver product to a customer, you do so under the belief the company will still be in business when the invoice comes due in 30, 60 or 90 days.

However, if you have factored that invoice, the factoring company is assuming that risk since they have given you a portion of the face value of the invoice up front. Should the company go out of business, and you have a non-recourse contract with the factoring company, the company will absorb that loss without any financial repercussions falling on your company. Non-recourse factoring typically only protects you and your business in the event your customer closes their doors before they pay their invoice.

If you are considering entering into any type of factoring contract, it is important to determine what your liability is should other problems occur with your customer. If the contract is non-recourse, talk to the factor to determine how they define non-recourse factoring.

At Capstone Capital Group, we work with small and medium-sized businesses to help them solve their cash flow problems. Contact us today and let’s discuss your needs and discuss your options for recourse, or non-recourse factoring.

Stake for Small Business Owners this Election Season

What’s at Stake for Small Business Owners this Election Season

19:40 29 June in Blog

Stake for Small Business Owners this Election SeasonU.S. presidential elections are a marathon, not a sprint, and this race has been exceptionally grueling—both for the candidates and the public at large. But more concerned than the average U.S. citizen are small business owners, who have responded to the uncertainty by delaying new hires, forgoing new equipment orders, and avoiding all but the most essential investments. We’ll tell you why confidence is slipping and what small businesses can do to buck the trend.

An Unprecedented Election Season?

Every presidential election captures the nation’s attention, but this year’s race seems to have no precedent. Whereas most Americans tune into the race after the primaries are over and the Republicans and Democrats have chosen their respective nominees, both parties saw unconventional candidates challenge the status quo during the primaries and capture the attention—and votes—of millions. Now that the primaries are over and Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are set to face off in the general election, the future and the direction we’re heading remains as unclear as ever.

Small Business Owners Uncertain

According to a survey conducted by the Wall Street Journal and Vistage Worldwide Inc, one-third of business owners report that uncertainty over the coming election is negatively impacting their business.

Though small business owners are responding in different ways, the overarching theme is this: they have opportunities to grow their businesses, but they’re hesitant to spend the money. It’s not just the election causing concerns—there’s also global concerns, like the recent exit of the U.K. from the European Union, which threw global markets into a brief tailspin and the tenuous state of the Chinese economy. Closer to home, there’s also uncertainty over the timing and impact of future interest rate hikes.

Small-Business Confidence, by the Numbers

Given the picture we’ve just painted, it’s no surprise that small-business confidence fell to its lowest level since November of 2012 this month. Even industries that consider themselves ‘immune’ to political drama, like real estate, construction and development, are seeing activity dwindle. In the end, small businesses off all types face higher cost of capital than their larger counterparts, and that’s why they bear the lion’s share of the burden when uncertainty prevails and consumers reduce spending.

Luckily, there are several tools that small businesses can use to seize opportunities for growth—regardless of the prevailing political and economic climate.

Capstone Helps Small Businesses Boost Working Capital and Grow

For qualified clients, Capstone provides purchase order factoring, single invoice factoring, and full-contract factoring for work performed under contract with credit-worthy accounts. We have highly experienced professionals on staff to facilitate the purchase of work in progress and progress billing-related accounts receivable. Please visit our homepage or contact us directly for more information.

How to Grow Business in an Unnatural Economy - Capstone

How to Grow Business in an Unnatural Economy

21:58 15 June in Blog

How to Grow Business in an Unnatural EconomyStalled growth, disappearing jobs and a sense of foreboding are the defining characteristics of today’s economy. So, what or who is to blame? According to one theorist, the process of “creative destructions,” whereby the death of one business or industry gives rise to another, is failing. We’ll tell you why it’s happening and show you how Capstone’s single invoice and full-contract factoring allow businesses to grow along with demand, avoid taking on additional debt, and improve their balance sheets organically—even in an economy stuck in limbo.

The Numbers

A sobering job report released earlier this month showed the creation of only 38,000 new jobs —124,000 fewer than had been predicted — which is the lowest monthly total since September 2010. Furthermore, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 94,708 Americans were not participating in the labor force during the month of May, bringing the participation rate to 62.6%.

A Limited Recovery

There’s no doubt that we’ve recovered from the Great Recession. The stock market has been on a 7-year bull run—although it has been tested recently. If you’ve tuned into the rhetoric coming out of the presidential race, you’ve heard the conviction that the recovery has been rather one-sided—that the gains of the last 7 years have benefitted a select few while the majority of the population has been left on the sidelines. No matter where you stand politically, the notion of a limited recovery seems to be supported by an analysis of Census Bureau data.

A Tale of Two Counties

According to the Census Bureau, the net increase of new business establishments is just 2.3% since 2010. Compare that with a 6.7% net increase during the 1990 recovery and a 5.6% net increase during the 2000 recovery. What’s worse—over half of the 166,000 new businesses formed in the United States since 2010 are located in just 20 counties. In short, a select few geographic areas are prospering, and the rest of the country is losing businesses and losing jobs at an alarming rate.

Aggressive Oversight and Misplaced Regulation

Touted as the culprits of the financial crash, banks and financial institutions, the drivers of growth since time immemorial, have been forced to tighten their lending requirements. The unintended consequence, of course, is that businesses’ traditional sources of credit have dried up. An enduring irony of the Dodd-Frank Act, which among other things was designed to limit the size of financial institutions, is that its burdensome requirements have actually forced many small community banks out of business—making the Big Banks BIGGER, not smaller.

If a lack of funding weren’t bad enough, businesses are now contending with rising federal regulatory compliance costs and state licensing requirements. And here the bitter irony continues. The new wave of regulations have disproportionally harmed small businesses—the symbol of the American Dream and American industriousness—not the large corporations the regulations were meant to control. A report ordered by the U.S. Small Business Administration found that the per-employee cost of federal regulatory compliance was $10,585 for companies with 19 or fewer employees. Companies with 500 or more employees, by contrast, paid an average of $7,755 per employee to stay compliant. Added to compliance costs are a rapidly multiplying number of state and local licensing requirements. 5% of employees required certificates or licenses in 1950. Today, the number stands at 30%.

A Metaphor for our Economic Ecosystem

There are many apt metaphors that describe what’s happening to the U.S. economy, but one of our favorites has to do with Smoky the Bear and forest fire prevention. Forest fires aren’t pretty, but they’re a natural and necessary phenomenon. They clear away the old, dead wood and give new generations of plants the space they need to grow. If the old, dead wood remains propped up for too long, the ecosystem ends up with less growth, less diversity, and a few individuals soaking up all the sunlight. And when a fire does finally come along, it’s much bigger and more destructive than it ever needed to be.

Boost Working Capital with Capstone

Capstone gives small and midsize businesses that are negatively impacted by Dodd-Frank and other constrictive legislation the working capital needed to seize opportunities for growth. For qualified clients, we provide single invoice factoring, construction factoring and full-contract factoring for work performed under contract with credit-worthy accounts. We have highly experienced professionals on staff to facilitate the purchase of work in progress and progress billing-related accounts receivable. Please visit our homepage for more information.

Interest Rates Predicted to Rise - Capstone Explained

U.S. Economy Picking Up Momentum in Q2; Interest Rates Predicted to Rise

19:56 27 May in Blog

Interest Rates Predicted to Rise - Capstone ExplainedAfter another harsh winter, the American economy is stabilizing and beginning to shrug off concerns of a prolonged slowdown or recession.

According to the latest economic gauges, industrial production is increasing, inflation is firming, and the housing sector is continuing to pick up momentum. All of these factors, combined with data reflecting retail sales rebounds, job gains, and rising consumer confidence, point to improved — though still less than spectacular — growth potential for the second quarter of 2016.

Interest Rates

Fed officials afraid of financial market volatility and poorly performing overseas economies have kept a steady hand on short-term interest rates throughout 2016. A domestic growth rebound in Q2 could be just the inspiration they’ve been looking for to raise rates this summer. Their next opportunities come at the policy meetings scheduled for June, July, and September.

John Williams, President of the San Francisco Fed, recently told the Wall Street Journal that the data is starting to make a strong case for rate increases not just in June, but potentially more than once in the next few policy meetings.

Despite Positives, Some Forecasters Remain Cautious

First quarter 2016 gross domestic product (GDP) increased only 0.5 percent over Q1 2015, but growth might be poised to accelerate.

Since the end of the recession, Q1 GDP growth has consistently been weak, followed by a rebound in Q2. The latest reports of modest but definite growth in highly important sectors would suggest that the same pattern is about to repeat itself in 2016.

Macroeconomic Advisers, a forecasting firm, estimates that GDP will expand at a rate of 2.3 percent this quarter. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta estimated an even higher growth rate of 2.5 percent.

However, it’s not all sunshine and roses. Despite all the positive data starting to roll in, many forecasters are still leery about the economy’s current health as well as its general outlook for the future. Earlier in May, a Wall Street Journal survey of economists revealed an estimated 20 percent chance of a recession taking place in the U.S. sometime in the next 12 months.

Boost Working Capital with Capstone

For qualified clients, we provide purchase order factoring, single invoice factoring and full-contract factoring for work performed under contract with credit-worthy accounts. We have highly experienced professionals on staff to facilitate the purchase of work in progress and progress billing-related accounts receivable. To learn more, please visit our homepage.

Novel Way for Subcontractors to Find Financing from Capstone

A Novel Way for Subcontractors to Find Financing

20:13 11 May in Blog

Novel Way for Subcontractors to Find Financing from Capstone2015 was a picture-perfect year for construction, a banner year for the post-recession. Yet in 2016, many contractors in the United States are struggling to find financing for construction projects.

The lack of financing has been a reality even over the past several years with the economy recovering by leaps and bounds. It was a reality throughout the housing crisis and even prior to the recession when construction and development were booming. Contractor business financing has been a struggle, but it’s clearly nothing new.

Banks’ Aversion to Construction Financing

Banks are perennially gun-shy when it comes to lending to construction firms. They cite the industry’s volatile revenue fluctuations, the unpredictable nature of construction, contractors’ sensitivity to economic cycles, and excess competition as reason to stay away. The recent failure of several prominent construction firms has only strengthened banks’ resolve to avoid offering lines of credit to construction firms, contractors and subcontractors.

Contractors & Underwriting Issues

Steady bank relationships are often out of reach for construction firms with a poor ratio of accounts receivable to accounts payable and limited liquidity in working capital. But when construction firms and contractors struggle to find financing, subcontractors tend to suffer even more. Banks are hesitant to allow subcontractors’ bonded accounts receivable to serve as collateral for lines of credit, and those who primarily engage in bonded work often find it difficult or impossible to provide additional collateral.

Is there any hope for subcontractors in today’s construction industry?

Factoring: A Solution for Subcontractors

Factoring is a finance technique that allows a company to leverage its accounts receivable and accelerate its working capital through the sale of its accounts receivable to a third party. Specifically, a factor gives a business an advance on a customer invoice — generally between 70 to 90% of the invoice amount – so they can create a backlog of work without equity or debt financing. As the company improves their balance sheet, they increase the likelihood of receiving a traditional line of credit from a bank.

Seize Opportunities for Growth with Capstone

For qualified subcontractors, Capstone offers contractor financing and provides a single invoice and full-contract factoring for work performed under contract with a creditworthy general contractor. Capstone has highly experienced construction professionals on staff to facilitate the purchase of construction-related accounts receivable. To learn more about our contractor business financing and other services, please visit our homepage.

Sluggish Start Becoming a Pattern for U.S. Economy - Capstone Financing

Sluggish Start Becoming a Pattern for U.S. Economy

18:45 15 April in Blog

Sluggish Start Becoming a Pattern for U.S. Economy - Capstone FinancingThe U.S. economy’s sluggish start to the year is validating the wait-and-see approach the Federal Reserve has taken with raising interest rates.

Business investments, constrained by falling corporate profits and diminishing exports, and held back by the strong dollar, have both played their role in the disappointing start to 2016.

Spending-cautious American households are doing their part to stymie growth. According to figures released by the Commerce Department, retail sales dropped 0.3 percent in March. It was the third straight month without gains in retail spending.

Is This Just a Typical Slow Start?

It’s not uncommon for the American economy to lag behind projections in the first quarter of the year. Gross domestic product (GDP), one of the key measurements of overall economic success, either fell or grew at disappointing rates in both 2014 and 2015. Second, third, and fourth quarters brought much better returns the last two years, and many expect the same to happen in 2016.

Forecasts for the Rest of 2016

GDP forecasters believe the economy will resume recovery throughout the rest of 2016, but growth rates are not expected to be strong. J.P. Morgan Chase has predicted a growth rate of 0.2 percent, while Nomura says 0.7 percent and Macroeconomic Advisers 0.9%.

Following a 1.4 percent growth rate in the closing month of 2015, which itself was viewed as a disappointing figure at the time, Fed officials are likely to remain on the cautious path they’ve already been traveling with interest rates.

In December, the central bank raised the benchmark rate for the first time in nearly 10 years. They have stopped short of further changes due to financial market volatility and global uncertainty. These external forces play a bigger role than domestic economic growth in affecting the central bank’s decisions moving forward.

Some Positive Indicators

The labor market has been one source of good news for the economy. Directly following a lull, more than 1.5 million jobs were added over the past six months.

Boost Working Capital with Capstone

For qualified clients, we provide business funding solutionssingle invoice factoring and full-contract factoring for work performed under contract with credit-worthy accounts. We have highly experienced professionals on staff to facilitate the purchase of work in progress and progress billing-related accounts receivable. To learn more, please visit our homepage.

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