Happy 60th Birthday, Color TV: 1951 -2011
Professor Mark J. Perry's Blog for Economics and Finance
Mobile food trucks are becoming popular in The Motor City, here are some recent CD posts here and here. And now Detroit Lions' fans have been enjoying another form of controversial mobile commerce operating near Ford Field during Lions home game - a mobile strip club known as the "Booty Lounge" (see photo above).
Source: "How 'Free' Really Works Online" at The Consumerist
Obama's re-election odds on Intrade.com now at 46.6%.
CANADA.COM -- "With the recent spotlight on the debt crisis in Greece and other European nations, we take a look at the countries that are most in debt, calculated by the World Bank's data on gross external debt as a percentage of the GDP. The top ranking nations may surprise you."
WASHINGTON, D.C. – "The Association of American Railroads today reported gains for weekly rail traffic, with U.S. railroads originating 305,133 carloads for the week ending September 24, 2011 (Week 38), up 1.1 percent compared with the same week last year (see chart; MP: Except for the first week of April this was the highest weekly carload count since 2008). Intermodal volume for the week totaled 248,402 trailers and containers, up 3 percent compared with the same week last year. This weekly intermodal volume is the highest since Week 39 of 2007.
The Detroit Free Press ran a front page article last Sunday titled "Hub Premiums Cost Delta Fliers Plenty at [Detroit] Metro Airport" about some of the huge differences in airfares for international travel between Delta Airlines' hub airport in Detroit and its regional spoke airports in nearby Flint, Lansing and Saginaw.
From The Economist.
According to data released today by Freddie Mac, 30-year fixed mortgage rates fell this week to another new historic low of 4.01% (see chart above), and 15-year rates fell to a new record low of 3.28%. Based on the most recent one-year increase in the CPI of 3.8% through August, 15-year mortgage rates are below the current annual inflation rate and 30-year rates are just barely above current inflation.
BLOOMBERG -- "Rare-earth prices are set to extend their decline from records this year as buyers including Toyota Motor Corp. and General Electric Co. scale back using the materials in their cars and windmills.
For sale on Ebay for $4,500.
The American Staffing Association Index, a weekly barometer of temporary and contract employment, a key coincident economic indicator, and a leading indicator of U.S. payroll employment, reached a year-to-date high of 90 for the week ending September 18 (see chart above). For comparable weeks in the last three years, the staffing index was 91 in 2008, 72 in 2009, and 90 in 2010. During most years like 2007, 2009 and 2010, the temporary staffing activity increases towards year-end, so if that pattern prevails this year, we can expect ongoing improvements in temporary and contract employment this fall.
"The Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index (CFMMI) increased 0.6% in August, to a seasonally adjusted level of 85.0 (see chart). Revised data show the index increased 0.3% in July. Regional manufacturing output in August rose 7.6% from a year earlier, and national output increased 4.2%.
Source: Michigan gas prices.
Exhibit A: MIT's Billion Price Project is showing declining monthly rates of inflation since March (red line above), and mild price deflation for the month ending August 30, see chart above and Paul Krugman's post here.