The buyback list compiled by Democrats also mirrors data from independent money management and research firm Birinyi Associates. It found 61 companies have spent $88.6 billion in share repurchases so far this year, more than double the amount announced by 58 companies during the same period last year.That makes 2018 the second-busiest year in buybacks since the bull market began in 2009, the firm found.
Small business owners may want to hand out bonuses and raises now that there’s a new tax law, but many don’t know if they’ll have any wealth to share. . . .Big companies also have an advantage because they have billions of dollars in cash reserves. Small and mid-size businesses often don’t have such cushions or access to big lines of credit that can help pay operating costs if revenue slows. Giving bonuses or raises in response to a potential tax cut could leave smaller companies vulnerable to a cash flow crisis.Even when tax professionals have more clarity about the law, small and mid-sized companies are likely to hold off. Owners typically give raises at the end of the year or early in the new year, after they have assessed how employees and the company overall have performed. If owners have a sense of what their revenue and profits will be in the year ahead, that goes into the mix as well.
The lingering effects of the 2007-2009 recession and the ensuing weak recovery held down the labor force participation of people ages 25 to 54 and will continue to restrain participation slightly through about 2020, in CBO’s view. At that time, CBO estimates, the labor force participation rate of people ages 25 to 54 will be close to its potential rate (that is, the percentage of the population who would be employed or seeking work if the economy was producing its maximum sustainable amount of output), indicating that most of the effects of the recession will have subsided.The slow recovery of the labor market largely reflects lackluster demand for goods and services and hence slow growth in GDP.