Markets in Everything: U.S. Medicine for Canadians
Professor Mark J. Perry's Blog for Economics and Finance
According to a report released this week by the BLS:
According to the Michigan Film Office website, 129 movies have been filmed in Michigan since 2008, including 48 in 2010 ("Gulliver's Travels), 43 in 2009 ("Capitalism: A Love Story"), and 38 in 2008 ("Gran Torino").
"The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index (PCI), issued yesterday by the UCLA Anderson School of Management and Ceridian Corporation fell 0.3% on a seasonally and monthly workday adjusted basis in January, giving up some of December’s exceptional 1.8% sequential gain. Because of the very strong December showing, the three-month annualized moving average is up 5.1% and gaining strength (see chart above). This follows a string of weak or negative readings experienced in the second half of last year, further supporting our view that there is no evidence for a “double dip” in 2011. Importantly, however, we are not yet seeing signs of the growth required to drive meaningful employment gains.
A thriving business has developed over the last few years that delivers super low-cost express bus transportation between cities like Washington D.C. and New York City, for as low as $1 (see picture above), but with fares typically running more like $26 round-trip on Megabus, $55 round-trip on DC 2 NY, and $35 round-trip on Chinatown Bus for travel in February.
1. The "RV Indicator": Sales of Recreational Vehicles are rebounding, and are expected to increase by 8.2% in 2011 compared to last year.
The website "Infochimps" makes it easy to buy, sell and share data online. Many datasets are free, and some are available for sale, here are some examples:
Weekly initial jobless claims fell last week to 383,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to today's Department of Labor report, which was the lowest level since July 5, 2008, more than 2-1/2 years ago. The four-week moving average fell by 16,000 to 415,500 (see chart).
From the February issue of the American Economic Review:
The chart above displays the monthly jobless rates for Michigan, California and Nevada, and here are a few key observations:
The homeownership rate in the U.S. fell in the fourth quarter of 2010 to 66.5%, according to data recently released by the Census Bureau. That was the lowest homeownership rate in 13 years, since the 66.4% rate in the fourth quarter of 1998, and it looks like it will probably fall further in the coming years.
We hear a lot lately about how the prices for commodities, metals (gold and copper), agricultural products and food are rising, but it sure hasn't started showing up yet in the CPI for Food and Beverages, see chart above of annual price inflation for that series. Annual food inflation through December 2010 was only 1.5%, more than a full percent below the ten-year average of 2.72%.
The current spread between nominal 10-year Treasuries at 3.68% (data) and 10-year TIPS (data) at 1.30% has increased slightly over the last few months, to the current level of 238 basis points as of February 4. But the current spread is still below the 250 basis point average during 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and the first half of 2008 (see chart above). At least by this Treasury bond-market derived estimate of future inflation, there don't appear to be any inflationary pressures building yet.
The Monster Employment Index Europe increased in January by 25% from its year-ago level, the largest year-over-year increase of the current economic expansion (see chart above), and above the 22% gain in December. There were especially strong annual gains for online job demand in Germany (+37%), Sweden (+32%), France (+23%) and the U.K.'s IT sector (+34%).
The Conference Board reported today that its composite Employment Trends Index, based on eight individual labor-market indicators (including both hard economic data and confidence measures), increased in January for the fourth consecutive month. The index increased to 100.5 in January from 100.3 in December, and is now above its year-ago level by 7%, and above its cyclical mid-2009 low by 20 points (see chart above).
According to Merchant Medicine's "2011-2015 Walk-In Clinic Market Forecast," the number of retail clinics in the U.S. could almost double from the current level of 1,220 clinics to 2,315 by 2015 under a "mid-case scenario," and the number could more than triple to 3,380 under the "best-case scenario (see chart above). Even under the "worst case scenario," the number of retail clinics would increase by 33% during the next five years. The report identifies some key factors that will influence the growth in retail clinics through 2015: