One of the challenges we've taken on this year is developing more real-time indicators of the health of the U.S. economy.
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.
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.
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.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, March 2015 was an especially remarkable month for imports coming into the United States.
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?
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.
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.
According to a Reuters poll of 85 economists, conducted just last week, "U.S. economic growth is set to rebound in the second quarter."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On Thursday, we revealed what dividends were saying about the health of the U.S. economy in the first quarter of 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!
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.
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.
We've been exploring data found in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau's Consumer Expenditure Survey, which has provided a window into the annual consumer expenditures of American households (or rather, "consumer units") since 1984. Today, we thought it was time to take a look at how the major categories of that spending has evolved over the thirty years for which we have data.
Unlike a lot of analysts, we've always approached the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which is perhaps better known as "Obamacare", from the perspective of personal finance.