During the 3rd quarter, corporations recorded more profit than ever before. Profits for corporations totaled $1.658 trillion, according to a report [.pdf] released today from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The previous record was $1.655 trillion in the 3rd Quarter of 2006. Corporate profits have grown for 7 consecutive quarters – not much of a “great recession” for corporations. Keep in mind that July, August, and September were not exactly prosperous months, as these facts show:
- Home sales hit all time lows in July and August. (Sept. stats not released yet.) UPDATE: Sept. stats released Nov. 24th – August is the lowest rate on record, while July and September tie for the third lowest.
- Home prices declined in July and August. (Sept. stats not released yet.) UPDATE: Sept. stats released Nov. 30th – home prices also declined in Sept.
- As of September, unemployment has been above 9.4% for 15 consecutive months – surpassing the streak of unemployment in the early 1980’s.
These economic indicators are more than sluggish, they are record-breaking lows. Yet corporations managed to reap more profit during this time frame than ever before. Corporate profits have been at the pre-recession level since the beginning of 2010, but businesses have still not began to invest in the US economy. In fact, corporations currently have more money in banks than ever before – $1.8 trillion. The chart below shows corporate profits since the late 1940’s, when record keeping on corporate profits began.