Quote of the Day: Unbelievably Loopy Economics; CAP Finds That Demand Curves Slope Upward
Professor Mark J. Perry's Blog for Economics and Finance
Natural gas production in the U.S. set another new monthly record in April according to data released yesterday by the Energy Information Administration. Gross withdrawals of natural gas increased to an all-time high of 78.58 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day in April, up by 0.54% from the 78.16 Bcf a day in March, and up by almost 7% from production in April last year (see chart above).
If there's any doubt that domestic drilling of oil and gas generate huge and significant positive economic benefits (more jobs, income, output, tax revenues, etc.), the booming economy in North Dakota provides a convincing case study. The Peace Garden State's economy is doing so well on so many different measures, here are some highlights of its ongoing economic success:
Current teenage unemployment rates for May 2011:
OSHA Enforcement Inspections, 2006-2011
Inspections per 100,000 Employees
2,100,000 (1,400,000 U.S. only)
10.2 (or 15.4 U.S. only)
The chart above is from The Economist and shows a "population-weighted history of the past two millennia" based on "economic output" and "years lived." According to The Economist:
The BEA released data today on the "U.S. Net International Investment Position at Yearend 2010" with these highlights:
The chart above shows the percentage of annual motorcycle deaths represented by the youngest age group (< 29 years) and the oldest group (> 50 years), according to annual data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the years 1975 to 2009. In 1975, 80% of motorcycle fatalities were in the youngest age group and that percentage fell over time; only 3% of the deaths were in the older age group in 1975 and that share increased over time (see chart). It's interesting to note that by 2009, the share of motorcycle deaths for the older group (31%) exceeded the share of deaths for the younger group (26%) for the first time ever.
The United States Department of Agriculture has recently released a "Food Desert Locator," which is an interactive Internet mapping tool that pinpoints low-income neighborhoods across the United States with high concentrations of residents who have limited access to a local supermarket or large grocery store. From the USDA's May 2, 2011 press release:
Based on 2010 sales revenue, Business Insider has a list of how 25 of America's largest companies compare to the GDP of entire countries in 2010, here are the top three:
|Rank 2011||Make/Model||U.S. Assembly Location||Rank 2010|
|1||Toyota Camry||Georgetown, Ky.;||1|
|2||Honda Accord||Marysville, Ohio;||2|
|3||Chevrolet Malibu||Kansas City, Kan.||5|
|4||Ford Explorer||Chicago, Illinois|
|6||Toyota Sienna||Princeton, Ind.||10|
|9||Toyota Tundra||San Antonio, Texas||8|
|10||GMC Acadia||Lansing, Mich.|
1. Intrade contracts for Obama to be re-elected next year are now trading at 56%, the lowest re-election odds since early January 2011 (see chart above). (HT: Steve Bartin)
Gasoline prices have been dropping steadily for the last six weeks, and the current price of $3.62 per gallon (national average) is the lowest in three months and almost 8% below the recent peak of close to $4 per gallon in early May (see chart above). America's stock of crude oil for the week ending June 17 was at the highest level (1.065 billion barrels) in more than four month since early February. So what's the administration's "solution" to the "non-problems" of rising oil supplies and falling oil and gas prices?
Nationally, home sales fell in May by 3.8% from April and by 15.3% from May last year, but the real estate market in Florida was booming in May, with strong gains statewide in condo sales, but especially in the Miami metro area.
Renegade Minnesota doctor -- makes same-day house calls, spends 30 minutes with each patient, and accepts payment in cash, checks, eggs, wine, pork sausage, pickles, homegrown tomatoes, or homemade pies, but not insurance, Medicare or Medicare.
The Billion Prices Project @ MIT has just been updated with daily price data through June 1, and is reflecting moderating inflationary pressures that have fallen to a new 5-month low (see chart above of monthly inflation rates since 12/25/2010). From a high of about 0.85% for the monthly inflation rate through late February, inflation has fallen to about 0.32% for the month ending June 1, and has been trending steadily downward for the last three months to the lowest level since late January.
Last week I posted about the record number of companies leaving California (5.4 per week this year), and here's an AP news story "Wave of Lawsuits Over Seats Hit Retail Stores," about a recent development that might give companies in the Golden State even more incentive to leave (or not move there in the first place, or not expand operations there):
"Let's say that it takes you exactly one minute to read this post. In that time, over 6,600 photos will be uploaded to Flickr, about 70 new domains will be registered, over 1,200 new ads will be created on Craigslist, and more. Find out here what happens on the Internet every 60 seconds (see graphic above, click to enlarge)."
|Rank||GDP per Capita, 2010|
|District of Columbia||$168,327|
California currently ranks #49 among U.S. states for "business tax climate" (Tax Foundation) and #48 for for "economic freedom" (Mercatus). It shouldn't be any surprise then that companies are leaving the "Golden State" in record numbers this year (see chart above) for "golder pastures" and more business-friendly climates in other states.
The Conference Board reported today that its Leading Economic Index (LEI) increased 0.8% in May to 114.7 (see chart above), with the largest positive contributions to the index coming from the interest rate spread, consumer expectations and building permits. The LEI has now increased in 25 out of the last 26 months starting in April 2009, with the only monthly decrease occurring in April of this year.
|World Rank, 2010||Country||Prisoners per 100,000 Population|