GENERAL ECONOMIC DATA









  • UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: 

 

  •    According to an article published in the NEW YORK TIMES on October 25, 2011, "Bankers [in the United States] have an odd-sounding problem these days: they are awash in cash." The article says that "droves" of consumers and business organizations have been frightened by the volatility of the investment markets at this time, and as a result they are running out of what they consider to be riskier investments and parking their funds in more stable bank accounts. This, according to the TIMES report, does little to stimulate the economy. At the same time, there are fewer attractive opportunities for the banks themselves to turn all of this money around and make decent  profits for themselves. In August of 2011, according to the TIMES, BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON warned that it would begin to charge a 0.13% fee on the deposits of certain of their customers who were actively moving large amounts of cash in and out of their accounts. Other large banks are trying to discourage these heavy inflows by such methods as paying extremely low interest rates on checking accounts and certificates of deposit. Without more promising opportunities for using these large inlows, the banks are basically stuck with just sitting on the money, and this tends to stall the overall economy.  (SOURCE:  Article, "Banks Flooded With Cash From the Cautious" by Eric Dash and Nelson D. Schwartz, Tuesday, October 25, 2011, BUSINESS Section, pages B1 and B11).
  •    At this time (October 25, 2011) in the United States, mortgage bonds backed by Fannied Mae and Freddie Mac are paying an average rate of under 1.15%; in recent past years this rate was up to 3.75%.  (SOURCE:  Article, "Banks Flooded With Cash From the Cautious" by Eric Dash and Nelson D. Schwartz, New York Times, Tuesday, October 25, 2011, BUSINESS Section, page B11).
  •    At this time also, (October 25, 2011), in the United States the stock markets are doing fairly well, despite  the fact that banks are holding large amounts of consumers' cash, with bank deposits up by almost 5% in a year. At this time the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up by about 2% for the year to date; the Nasdaq composite index is up by 1.7% on the year, and the  Standard and Poor index-a broad measure of market conditions-is up by 1.2% for the same period.  (SOURCE:  Article, "Summer Doldrums Continue to Fade" by Christine Hauser, in Stocks and Bonds feature, New York Times, Tuesday, October 25, 2011, BUSINESS Section, page B11).
  •   The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday, January 22, 2010 that-for the first time ever in American history-more union members worked for all levels of government than worked in private industry. The Bureau said that, in 2009, there were 7.9 million unionized public-sector workers, and only 7.4 million private-sector workers . In 2008, there had been 8.2 million unionized workers in private industry. The B.L.S. reported that overall union memebrship stood at 15.3 million in 2009, mostly due to the decline in all employment. The rate of union membership in the private sector dropped because two sectors where such membership has traditionally been strong-manufacturing and construction-have experienced especially heavy losses.(SOURCE:  Article, "Most U.S. Union Members Are Working For the Government, New Data Shows" By Steven Greenhouse in New York Times, Business Day section, January 23, 2010, pp. B1 and B5).

  •    In the Metropolitan Los Angeles, California area for the year ended on December 31, 2009, a total of 425 new single-family dwelling unit permits have been issued. For that year also, 303 permits have been issued for single-family dwelling units in the San Fernando  Valley area. In West Los Angeles, 242 such permits have been issued, and in the L. A. Harbor area, just 21 single-family dwelling permits were issued for all of 2009. That brought the Los Angeles citywide total to 991 single-family dwelling permits issued for 2009. However, a more-detailed breakdown of these figures shows that, of the citywide total of 991 permits issued, only 438 were for the construction of new units, while 480 permits were issued for demolition of existing structures, and nine units were lost due to alteration of existing units. This resulted in an overall loss of fifty-one dwelling units citywide in Los Angeles in 2009.  (SOURCE: See table prepared by Los Angeles Department of City Planning here:).

  •     In the United States as a whole for the fourth quarter of 2009 (ended 12/31/2009), 373,000 new single-family homes were sold, at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate. This represented a drop of 8% from the 406,000 such homes (seasonally adjusted annual rate) which had been sold in the previouis quarter (ended 9/30/2009), and down by 5% from the sales rate recorded for the final quarter of  2008. This is a reflection of the continued dismal conditions in the U.S. real estate market following the collapse of the housing "bubble" of the early 2000's.  (SOURCE: See U. S. Housing Market Conditions report for Fourth Quarter, 2009, dated February 2010, issued by U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy Development and Research, here:).

  •     In New Hyde Park, New York on February 6, 2009 the McDonalds at 2045 Jericho Turnpike is selling Filet-O-Fish sandwiches for $3.29 each, and Filet-O-Fish meals for $3.90 each.  (SOURCE: See sales receipt in G. Dempsey's files).

  •     In New York City on January 3, 2009-a Saturday-the NEW YORK TIMES reports that economic conditions across the United States are so bad that an auto dealership in the suburbs of Miami, Florida is willing to give away free a second truck or car to customers who agree to buy one Dodge Ram truck. The TIMES labels current conditions as an "era of desperation marketing" as stores and auto dealers are willing to try almost any unorthodox tactic to make sales.  (SOURCE:  Article, "Desperate Retailers Try Frantic Discounts and Giveaways" by Jack Healy in New York Times Business Day section, Saturday, January 3, 2009, pg. B1). 

  •     In the United States of America the index of manufacturing activity compiled by the Institute of Supply Management-a trade group of purchasing executives-stands at 32.4 for the month of December, 2008. The Institute says that "Manufacturing activity continued to decline at a rapid rate during the month of December," according to Norbert J. Ore, who is chairman of the Institute's Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. With this latest drop, the Institute's index has now fallen to its lowest level since  the 30.3% reading recorded in June, 1980, 28 years ago. The Institute also reports at this time that new orders have declined for over a year now-13 straight months of decline, and now stand at their lowest level ever, going back even as far as January of 1948. That index of pending orders fell to just 22.7% in December, 2008; this was a drop of 5.2 % below the 27.9% rat of November, 2008. In addition, and as a natural consequence of the dismal manufacturing and new-order statistics, employment fared poorly in December, 2008. The employment index fell by 4.3% from November's level, to now stand at just 29.9%, and this was the lowest reading for this statistic since November of 1982.  (SOURCE:  Article, "Data Shows Manufacturing Is Suffering In All Corners" by Bettina Wassener in New YorkTimes  Business Day section, Saturday, January 3, 2009, pg. B1 and B4). 

  •     In the United States of America the index of manufacturing activity compiled by the Institute for Supply Management-a trade group of purchasing executives-stands at 36.2 for the month of November, 2008.  (SOURCE:  Article, "Data Shows Manufacturing Is Suffering In All Corners" by Bettina Wassener in New YorkTimes  Business Day section, Saturday, January 3, 2009, pg. B1).

  •     In New York City the number of homeowners facing foreclosure actions rose by 1/3 in November, 2007 compared to the number who were facing such actions in November, 2006. However, this November's figure was actually lower than it had been in October of this year. These foreclosure problems are part of the continuing subprime mortgage "mess", according to an article published in the New York Daily News on December 20, 2007. That report said that an additional 2,848 homeowners in the city had filed foreclosure-related papers in November, 2007, and that this represented one filing for every 1,089 households in the city. The largest number of such new filings was in the borough of Queens, where 1,338 homes had gone into foreclosure proceedings in November. For Queens, this represented a huge 55% jump from last November's number of foreclosure filings-a rate of one filing per every 622 households in the borough. For the United States as a whole, the foreclosure rate was one per every 617 households in November, 2007. Most foreclosure filings in the city were default notices sent by lenders after the borrowers had missed one or more mortgage payments.

        In Manhattan there were only 94 filings, but that was still a jump of 40% over the number which had been filed in November, 2006. The 94 new filings represented a rate of only one filing for every 8,721 households in the borough. In Brooklyn there were 1,078 new filings, or an increase of 19% from the number of filings in Brooklyn in November, 2006. In the Bronx there were just 338 new filings, up only 1% from last November's number of filings. On Staten Island 305 foreclosure actions were filed, and this was a steep 56% increase from the number of such filings in the borough in November, 2006.

        Nationwide, there were 201,950 mortgage foreclosure actions or notices of pending actions in November, 2007--a sharp 6% rise from the number of such actions throughout the nation in November, 2006, but down by 10% from October of 2007. This could indicate that the current mortgage crisis has peaked for the time being, but industry experts are not sure if this is so.  (SOURCE:  Article, "Foreclosures in city hit Queens the hardest" by Lore Croghan in New York Daily News BizNews section, Thursday, December 20, 2007, pg. 49).   

  • In the United States of America in March, 2006 the national unemployment rate has dropped slightly to 4.7% from last month's rate of 4.8%, and it is now much improved from last March's rate of 5.1%.  (SOURCE:  Report by State of Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, April 24, 2006--See website at: http://dir.state.hi.us/labor/pr/MR2006_03_Mar06_UI.pdf)

  •     In the United States of America in February, 2006 the national unemployment rate was 4.8%. (Source: Report by State of Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, April 24, 2006--See website at: http://dir.state.hi.us/labor/pr/MR2006_03_Mar06_UI.pdf).

  •     In New York City on Sunday, February 19, 2006 the Key Food Supermarket chain advertises a sale on their store brand butter; it is on sale for $1.99 per pound, with use of their "Club Card". Also, "All" brand liquid detergent is on sale for $3.99 per 80-100 ounce container, again with use of their "Card"; without the card, the price for the 80-100 ounce container of "All" is $5.99.  (SOURCE:  Advertisement in New York Daily News, Sunday, February 19, 2006, pg. 37 in Sunday Now section). 

  •     In New York City on Sunday, February 19, 2006, the New York Daily News carries an advertisement which says that a two bedroom unfurnished apartment, with a single bathroom, kitchen, livingroom and diningroom is for rent in a private house in Flushing, Queens, New York City. The monthly rent is advertised as being US$1,400.00.  (SOURCE: Listing in Real Estate Section, New York Daily News, Sunday, February 19, 2006, pg. SPECIALISL 10).

  •     According to a small feature article appearing in the New York Daily News on Sunday, February 19, 2006, the population of the Sunset Park neighborhood of sourthern Brooklyn, New York at that time is 92,718; the median price of a house there is US$ 599,000.00, and the median household income is US$ 30,994.00.  (SOURCE: Feature, "Hometown Neighborhoods Sunset Park Picturesque Views, Bargain Brownstones" by Liz George in Real Estate Section, New York Daily News, Sunday, February 19,  2006, pg. SPECIALISL 10).

  •     In the United States of America in early August, 2002 the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index fell slightly to a reading of 87.9, from a level of 88.1 in July, 2002. This is the lowest level for this measure of consumer well-being since November of last year. Before this actual reading was published, the consensus among those who report on its findings had been for a reading of 88.3. This index is pegged to a reading of 100 for consumer sentiment in December, 1964. However, despite the overall slight drop in the index, the curent-conditions section (which asks consumers about their present financial situations) actuall showed a slight rise. (SOURCE: Reuters News Service report, "Data Indicate U.S. Recovery Is Still Fragile" carried in New York Times Business section on Saturday, August 17, 2002, pg. C3). 

  •     In the United States of America the Labor Department reported that the Consumer Price Index barely rose at all in July, 2002, inching up just 0.1%, and this matched the slight increase for June, 2002.  If the costs of food and energy-which can vary widely on a monthly basis-are excluded, the so-called "core index" rose by 0.2% in July, on the heels of just a 0.1% rise in June. To economists, this amounts to almost no inflation at all, and they feel that this environment gives the Federal Reserve room to decrease its benchmark federal funds rate, which now stands at just 1.75% (the lowest it has been in 40 years),  should such a move prove to be needed in the future.  (Source:  Reuters News Service report, "Data Indicate U.S. Recovery Is Still Fragile" carried in New York Times Business section on Saturday, August 17, 2002, pg.C3).

  •     In the United States of America housing starts fell in July, 2002, according to a report by the U.S. Commerce Department. This is a second monthly decline for this measure of the housing industry, but activity is still robust by historical standards, and is being helped by the current historically low level of interest rates. The drop was by 2.7% from June's level, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.649 million units. The Commerce Department has also revised the figures for building activity in June; the level last month is now reported to have been a 2.7% decline from May's activity, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.695 million units.  (SOURCE:  Reuters News Service report, "Data Indicate U.S. Recovery Is Still Fragile" carried in New York Times Business section on Saturday, August 17, 2002, pg. C3). 

  •     An article in the New York Times on May17, 2000 said that the U. S. Federal Reserve Board had raised its target interest rate on May 16, 2000 by half a percentage point-the largest such increase of the past six increases, and that, since June of last year the economic boom has continued and economic growth has accelerated. The Times said that housing starts, industrial production and inflation were all on the rise, while the labor market was tightening, with the unemployment rate falling. The Federal Reserve Board was quoted as saying that, "Increases in demand have remained in excess of even the rapid pace of productivity-driven gains in potential supply, exerting continued pressure on resources,".  (SOURCE:  Article, "Fed Administers Dose No. 6 Of Its Economic Sedative",  by Floyd Norris, Business Section, New York Times, Wednesday, May 17, 2000, pages C1 and C9).

  •     An Associated Press report carried in the New York Times on Wednesday, May 17, 2000 said that "A robust economy kept shoppers in the buying mood in the first quarter [of 2000]...".  (SOURCE:  report, "Profit Up at 2 Retailers, but Penney Drops" by the Associated Press, in New York Times, Business Section, Wednesday, May 17, 2000, page C25). 

  •     On Wednesday, May 17, 2000 the New York Times carried a Bloomberg News Service report which said that consumers saw no change in the prices of goods which they purchased in April of that year, after they had increased by 0.7% in March, and that there was an increase in the construction of new homes, according to government reports cited by Bloomberg. This indicated, according to Bloomberg, "that the economy was expanding with little to no inflation." The report said that the costs of air travel, clothing and gasoline had dropped, while the costs of medical care, food and housing had gone up in April. This was also the first time since June of 1999 that there was no increase in the Consumer Price Index. In April of 2000 new housing starts were up by 2.8% to an annual rate of  1.663 million units, with apartments and other multiple-unit developments leading the way. However, permits for future construction fell, possibly due to the effects of higher mortgage costs, forecasting a slowing in the building industry. On the good news side, average weekly earnings, adjusted for inflation, actually rose by 0.7% in April to  reverse the 0.5% drop in earnings which occurred in March.  (SOURCE: report, "Retail Prices Unchanged Last Month" by Bloomberg News Service, in New York Times, Business Section, Wednesday, May 17, 2000, page C25).

  •     The New York Times reported on Saturday, November 6, 1999 that "Bond yields moved lower" on Friday, November 5, 1999, "within minutes after the [good] unemployment report was released" by the government. The Times reported that "The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond fell to 6.05 percent from 6.10 percent Thursday."  The price of that bond, which moves inversely to the yield, rose 19/32, to close at 101 1/32.  (SOURCE:  Report, "Favorable News on Jobs and Inflation Lifts Equity Prices", by Kenneth N. Gilpin, New York Times Business Section, Saturday, November 6, 1999, page C3).

  •     In the United States of America the government reported on Thursday, October 9, 1997 that first-time claims for unemployment insurance benefits had declined to an almost nine-year low level. The U. S. Department of Labor reported on Thursday that such claims had fallen by 5,000 in the week which ended on October 4, 1997 to a seasonally adjusted level of just 304,000. This is the fourth consecutive week in which such first-time filings have failed to rise above a level of 310,000, and that is the longest sustained period below that level since the first five weeks of 1989. This trend indicates that the labor supply may not be growing quickly enough to fill  the demand by industry for workers, and that the relartive scarcity of available workers may force employers to raise the general salary level to attract needed employees.  (SOURCE:  Article, "Jobless Claims Hit 9-Year Low" by Bloomberg News, in New York Newsday Business Section,  Friday, October 10, 1997, pg. A65).

  •     In the United States of America, major retailers reported on Thursay, October 9, 1997 that sales in September, 1997 were at a disappointingly low level because unusually warm weather that month had depressed demand for fall clothing and other merchandise. Specialty retailers in the women's clothing field suffered the largest sales decline, and these included AnnTaylor Stores, The Limited, and Talbots. Smaller-scale retailers reported that they were also affected by the weather-induced lack of sales volume.  (SOURCE:  Article, "Jobless Claims Hit 9-Year Low" by Bloomberg News, in New York Newsday Business Section, Friday, October 10, 1997, pg. A65).   

  •      By some time in 1978 deposits in American banks have grown to the point that the DIME SAVINGS BANK OF NEW YORK, a state-chartered mutual (depositor-owned) institution, by itself could report having US$ 4 billion in deposits on its books.  (SOURCE:  See website for DIME SAVINGS BANK here:)

  •      On December 26, 1975 the Queens Tribune weekly newspaper carried an advertisement for the Reliance Federal Savings and Loan Association of New York, in which the bank said that it was currently paying 5.25% interest for an annual yield of 5.47% on Day of deposit to day of withdrawal accounts; its highest interest-rate offering was an 8.17% yield on 7.75% 6-year certificate savings accounts.  (SOURCE:  Reliance Federal Savings and Loan Association advertisement in Queens Tribune, December 26, 1975, page 6).

  •      For the year ended on October 31, 1970, weekly earnings for workers in the United States have inceased 3.2% over what they had been a year ago, but these gains are more than eclipsed by the nation's strongest inflation in 20 years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will announce on November 6, 1970 that purchasing power for those workers is now 2.5% less than it ahd been  in October, 1969.  (SOURCE:  New York Daily News, November 7, 1970, page 22).

  •      For the month ending on April 30, 1970, the National Industrial Conference Board's index of help-wanted advertising has dropped again, and now stands 20% below last autumn's high mark.  (SOURCE:  Business Week, May 30, 1970, page 19).

  •     In the month that ended on May 31, 1969, the growth of savings deposits at this nation's savings and loan associations stands at the lowest level for any May month since 1958, according to a report from the  U. S. Savings and Loan League that is released on  June 19, 1969 in Washington, D.C.

        The League estimates that there has been a gain of US$ 560 million in such savings deposits for May, 1969, but that that growth was down by a large 26% from the US$ 757 million that had been deposited by the nation's savers in May, 1968. The League also said that this latest figure is below the average total  deposits  for the month of May  over the last decade; that latter figure was said to be US$ 806 million, meaning that this May's figure is down by 30.5% from that level.  (SOURCE:  New York Daily News,  June 20, 1969, pg. 54).

  •     By the end of 1914 in the United States of America the total of all funds on deposit in savings accounts with American banks stands at US$ 17.4 billion [in 1914 dollars]. SOURCE:  THE GREAT DEPRESSION  AMERICA IN THE 1930s  by T. H. Watkins  Back Bay Books Little, Brown and Company  New York, Boston, London  ((paperback))  2009, pg. 35). [In terms of 2008 dollars, this would be over US$ 378.260 billion, according to an inflation calculator devised by   Robert C. Sahr of the Political Science Department at Oregon State University--G. Dempsey]

    CANADA:

        In the decade from 1951 until 1961, close to 10,000 jobs in the financial, business, and  communication sectors were created in Quebec City, Canada, but this was less than the number of jobs that were created in the social services, commercial, industrial, personnel, and public sectors.  (SOURCE:  An Historical Guide To Quebec-Yves Tessier (paperback), pg. 27).

     

    INDIA:

        On Tuesday, June 26, 2001, the NEW YORK TIMES carried a report that said that the Confederation of Indian Industry, which is that country's most influential trade organization, had requested Pakistan to reciprocate and to grant most favored nation trade status to India. This request was in advance of a planned summit meeting between the Indian and Pakistani leaders which is to take place in Agra in July of this year. The Confederation estimated the potential value of trade between the two countries at US$ 5 billion by the year 2005. This would be up from the present trade level of US$ 800 million. "Enhanced economic coopoeration would also contribute to stability in the region," the Confederation said.