Political Calculations

Posted June 26, 2015

Last week, when we unveiled our charts showing the historic price of the No. 1 can of Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup for almost every month since January 1898 to the present, we couldn't help but notice that its price trajectory seemed to be pretty similar to that of the price of gold in the U.S.

Posted June 25, 2015

We now have a handle on what the expected future for the S&P 500's dividends per share is through 2016-Q2.

Posted May 14, 2015

One of the challenges we've taken on this year is developing more real-time indicators of the health of the U.S. economy.

Posted May 13, 2015

We had planned to retire our chart tracking the change in the number of employeed by age group since November 2007, when the total employment level in the U.S. peaked ahead of the beginning of the so-called "Great Recession", but data in the April 2015 Employment Situation report is giving us cause to resuscitate it.

Posted May 12, 2015

With the spot price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil having broken above $50 in the second week of April 2015, it now appears that the rebound in oil prices has now put new jobless claims in the eight high cost oil production states we've been tracking on the verge of breaking what had been their statistical uptrend for layoffs.

Posted May 08, 2015

Supporters of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which is popularly known as "Obamacare" and is often abbreviated as "ACA", have claimed that the law is responsible for bending the cost curve of expected future health care spending down from its previous trajectory.

Posted May 07, 2015

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, March 2015 was an especially remarkable month for imports coming into the United States.

Posted May 06, 2015

How much of a correlation is there between falling oil prices and the number of layoffs, as measured by seasonally adjusted new jobless claims, in the eight states whose oil industries employ high cost production methods for extracting crude oil?

Posted May 05, 2015

According to Standard & Poor's Monthly Dividend Action Report [Excel Spreadsheet], the relative health of the private sector of the U.S. economy improved in April 2015 compared to the three preceding months.

Posted May 01, 2015

Five weeks ago, we served notice that we were going to be taking on the world's best economic forecasters and the Federal Reserve in anticipating the level of GDP in the United States during the first quarter of 2015 (2015-Q1) and that we would win.

Posted April 27, 2015

According to a Reuters poll of 85 economists, conducted just last week, "U.S. economic growth is set to rebound in the second quarter."

Posted April 23, 2015

We've been working behind the scenes here at Political Calculations on how to visually describe the near-real time health of the private sector of the U.S. economy using what is perhaps its simplest and most powerful indicator: the number of U.S. companies acting to cut their dividends.

Posted April 17, 2015

Last week, we featured a number of what we'll call "statistical equilibrium charts" showing the negative break in trend for new jobless claims in the eight states where domestic U.S. oil production has surged in recent years.

Posted April 09, 2015

After following China into recessionary growth levels in January 2015, at least as suggested by the exchange rate adjusted value of goods and services it trades with that nation, the U.S.' economic situation would at first glance have appeared to improve, while China's economic situation deteriorated.

Posted April 08, 2015

Beginning in January 2014, the trajectory of median new home sale prices in the U.S. with respect to median household income began to follow a new trend, with typical new home sale prices increasing at an average pace of nearly $11 for every $1 increase in typical household incomes.

Posted April 07, 2015

New jobless claims, or rather, the weekly tally of seasonally-adjusted initial unemployment insurance claims that are filed by those who have recently been laid off from their jobs, are an important economic indicator that provides a real-time look at the state of the nation's employment situation.

Posted April 03, 2015

On Thursday, we revealed what dividends were saying about the health of the U.S. economy in the first quarter of 2015.

Posted April 01, 2015

Now that we've demonstrated that the passage of the Affordable Care Act has resulted in a declining quality of life for average Americans since 2009, we thought we'd next discuss how that outcome came to pass, but first, we thought we'd first illustrate the trade off that American consumers are being forced to make using a production possibilities frontier curve - perhaps the first time in living memory that such a curve has been developed using real life data!

Posted March 31, 2015

Today, we're going to follow up an observation we made when we examined the major trends for how the consumer spending patterns of Americans has changed from 1984 through the present, where we observed that since 2009, increases in expenditures for health insurance are being paid for by the reduced consumption of entertainment.

Posted March 27, 2015

Some time ago, we recognized that the number of companies acting to cut their dividends each month seemed to be a very good and simple predictor of the near real time state of the U.S. economy.