Archive for February, 2011

Inflation Across The Globe On An Upward Spiral?

February 2, 2011

Simply speaking, inflation is more money chasing fewer goods.  Inflation is an indicator of the price level in an economy and can be measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Inflation around the world, especially in the booming economies of China and India has been increasing due to rising demand for goods.  Rising prices of basic necessities have partly been the cause of revolts in Tunisia and Egypt.

The riots in Egypt have hiked up oil prices and a further increase is being speculated. Though Egypt is not a major oil producer, a large amount of oil is transported across the Suez Canal which could be disrupted as a result of the riots.

In the United States, the CPI has increased only marginally by 0.5% from 219.146 in November to 220.252 in December. But with rising oil prices adding to transportation and production costs, corporations will either have to cut their profit margins or increase their selling price.

The US government has been trying to stimulate the economy by increasing money supply and putting more money into the hands of consumers. Until now, with the fear that the current recession has not yet come to an end still looming, consumers have been keeping close tabs on their spending. But it is to be seen how long it will be until they loosen their purse strings and spend those extra dollars, driving up demand for more expensive goods and thereby increasing inflation.

Data360 has come out with a detailed report titled ‘Consumer Price Index’, examining the various indicators impacting inflation. The report can be accessed here.

Top 10 List: Actors by Number of Scenes Shot in San Francisco

February 1, 2011

Mega Shark savors the complex flavors of international orange in the film Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus, which, despite a moving performance by Mega Shark, was snubbed at the Oscars

Steven Soderbergh, the acclaimed director of Ocean’s Eleven, Traffic and Erin Brokovich, is coming to San Francisco. Soderbergh will begin filming his new picture, Contagion, a thriller starring Matt Damon, in the city on February 9th. While San Francisco is a world class city, complete with its own film commission charged with luring Hollywood directors, relatively few films are shot here. Notable exceptions include Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, Basic Instinct and The Pursuit of Happyness. In celebration of Soderbergh’s upcoming work in the city, Data360 crunched the numbers and came up with a list of actors who appear in the most scenes in San Francisco. Here are the top 10:

Rank – Name – # of Scenes – Film Name(s)

8 (Tie). Sean Connery – 22 Scenes – Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Marnie, The Presidio, The Rock
8 (Tie). Goldie Hawn – 22 Scenes – Foul Play
8 (Tie). Chevy Chase – 22 Scenes – Foul Play, Memoirs of an Invisible Man
7. Jacqueline Bisset – 23 Scenes – Bullitt
5 (Tie). Mary Steenburgen 24 Scenes – Time After Time
5 (Tie). Malcolm McDowell – 24 Scenes – Time After Time
4. Michael Douglas – 27 Scenes – The Game, Basic Instinct
3. Liam Neeson – 29 Scenes – The Dead Pool
2. Steve McQueen – 30 Scenes – The Towering Inferno, Bullitt
1. Clint Eastwood – 80 Scenes – The Dead Pool, Sudden Impact, Escape from Alcatraz, The Enforcer, Magnum Force, Dirty Harry

While this post is a bit of a “just for fun” departure from Data360’s core focus on leading economic data, it also serves to shed some light on the impact of the film industry on our economy. The Milkin Institute (a non-profit economic research firm founded by post-incarceration Michael Milkin of Drexel Burnham/junk bond/insider trading/tax evasion fame) finds that the film production industry adds $57 billion to the U.S. economy, just under 0.5%. In 2009, the film industry generated a positive foreign trade balance of $13.6 billion and Dan Glickman, former president of the Motion Picture Association, told Time Magazine in 2005, “Among all the sectors of the U.S. economy, our industry is the only one that generates a positive balance of trade in every country in which it does business.” Perhaps a bit ironically, one of the profiteers of the decline of American manufacturing was Michael Moore, who’s 1989 film Roger and Me chronicles the director’s quest to meet with then General Motors CEO Roger Smith to discuss outsourcing and plant closings.

Source: San Francisco Film Commission