Archive for February, 2012

GDP Increased at Annual Rate of 3% in Fourth Quarter of 2011

February 29, 2012

US GDP increased at an annual rate of 3% according to the BEA’s 2nd 4th quarter GDP estimate. Nominal GDP is at $15.3 trillion and real GDP is at $13.4 trillion. Contributing to the increase is a rise in gross private domestic investment, personal consumption expenditures, and state and local gross investment. The rise was mitigated by an increased trade deficit and less federal spending both defense and non-defense. It appears that, at least for now, the private sector is capable of offsetting relatively flat federal spending.

For more information, see our GDP report.

–From the St. Louis Federal Reserve and the Bureau of Economic Analysis

Case-Shiller Home Price Index Dropped to Lowest Level Since 2003

February 28, 2012

The 10-city home price index dropped 1.1% to 149.89. This is a 3.9% loss from last December and the lowest value since June 2003. The 20-city index also slid 1.1% to 136.71–a 4% drop from last December. The only cities to increase this month were Phoenix and Miami and their gains were meager (.8% and .2%, respectively). The largest one-month drops were in Detroit (down 3.8% to 68.39), Chicago (down 2% to 110.23), and Atlanta (down 1.8% to 87.3). This is the worst month for the home price index since 2009.

For more information, see our home price index report.

-from The St. Louis Federal Reserve and Case-Shiller

US Metro Migration, 2004-2010

February 27, 2012

Click through for the interactive map.

This map shows the between-city migration patterns for the US between 2004 and 2010. The clear pattern is that people are moving from the old-standby population centers of the North East and California towards the South West, Texas, and Florida.

-from The Atlantic Cities and

Data360 Listed in Data Tool Resource List

February 27, 2012

Data360 was listed in DailyTekk’s “Over 100 Incredible Infographic Tools and Resources” reference guide posted today. There are many other wonderful sites on the list as well. Check it out.

Thanks to DailyTekk.

Charting Presidential Wealth

February 24, 2012

This chart shows presidential wealth in millions of 2010 dollars.

-from and Time Magazine

Federal Taxes Minus Spending

February 22, 2012

This map shows which states pay the most in taxes and which states receive the most between 1990-2009 as a percentage of 2009 GDP. Delaware paid in the most relatively at twice its 2009 GDP.  Mississippi, West Virginia, and New Mexico all received more than 200% of their GDP in payments from the federal government.

-From the Economist

CPI Increased .47 in January

February 17, 2012

The consumer price index rose .47 to 227.5 in January. This is a 2.9% increase over January 2011. CPI inflation was near 3% during 2011, was under 2% for most of 2010, and was negative for much of 2009. Ideally, inflation will keep a steady pace at a reasonable 3%, but since it’s been trending upward for the past 3 years extra attention should be paid to its future movements.

-From the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the St. Louis Federal Reserve

Initial Unemployment Claims at Four-Year Low of 348,000

February 16, 2012

Initial unemployment claims dropped for the 4th consecutive week, declining 3.6% to 348,000. This is the lowest week of claims since March 2008. Between today’s pre-recession claims-level and the pre-recession manufacturing capacity figures today is clearly a day of good news. However, with last month’s labor force participation rate decline and systemic, long-term unemployment woes, it is clear employment is still a major issue.

-From the St. Louis Federal Reserve and the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Manufacturing Capacity At Highest Level Since 2008

February 16, 2012

Industrial production and capacity utilization shows that industry-wide numbers held steady at 78.6%. Manufacturing increased .5% to 77.4%. This is the highest manufacturing capacity usage since April 2008. This indicates that, in terms of capacity, the American manufacturing sector is at pre-recession levels.

-From the St. Louis Federal Reserve

Retail and Food Sales at $401.4 Billion in January

February 14, 2012

US retail sales were at $401.4 billion in January, a  $1.5 billion increase. Sales are $68.7 billion above the recession trough reached in March 2009. Retail sales have been above pre-recession levels for a full year now, indicating that the retail and food service sector has recovered substantially since 2008.

-From the St. Louis Federal Reserve