Market Movements, Recession Realities, “Eggcelent” Facts & More!

EDGY EQUITIES

US Markets got jittery after realizing Europe and China have been slowing and that this will reduce US growth. That said, US 18Q4 growth should be a strong 3%, wage growth is at its best level in a decade, and retail sales are strong. For perspective, the GDP hit from the huge dot-com equity collapse was about half a percentage point. The current equity decline is much smaller.

SEEMING SLOWDOWN

Oil prices aren’t spiking (which caused the 1973 and 1979 recessions), neither are interest rates (1981 and 1983 recessions). Better yet, banks aren’t failing, nor is consumer confidence tanking (collectively helping cause the 1990 recession), nor are equity prices and corporate investment collapsing (2000 recession), and there’s no mortgage-lending scandal (2008). But exports are weakening, corporate debt has ballooned, and China is decelerating. A slowdown, guaranteed, but no imminent recession.

TAX TAKE

During CY2017, France had the highest tax revenue as a percent of GDP among the 36 OECD (wealthy western democratic) nations at 46.2%. Denmark was just behind at just 46%, and in third was Sweden at 44%. The US was 31st at 27.1%. Ireland has the lowest tax share in Europe at 22.8%, Chile was in 35th at 20.2% while Mexico’s take was the lowest of all at 16.2%.

RESTRAINED RESUMES

Over the past year, the number of job openings has grown by 1.02 million. Over a third of these job vacancies are in accommodation and food service (200,000 more open jobs) and retail (147,000 more), both typically suited for entry-level positions. This suggests the tight labor market is allowing employees who might otherwise take restaurant or retail jobs to look for better paying jobs with room for advancement and training.

SURPRISING SURNAMES

The percentage of voters whose surname starts with S is almost 10%, followed by M with 9.25%, B at 8.5%, C with 7.25%, and H at 6.75%. W and R follow with about 5.5% each. These seven letters have over half of all voter names. The first half of the alphabet, letters A-M, contains 64% of voters. Instead, divvy it up A-K and L-Z; it’ll be even.

EGG EATING

In 2018, US per capita egg consumption is expected to be 279. While some wind up in cakes, souffles and sauces, many are eaten by themselves. The preferred way: it’s a tie between scrambled and fried, both chosen by 23% of egg eaters. Next comes poached at 22%, soft boiled is fourth at 11%, then hard boiled at 6%. Egg consumption peaked at 420 eggs/person in 1945.

Source: Elliot Eisenberg, PhD., Chief Economist for GraphsandLaughs, LLC, an economic consulting firm serving a variety of clients across the United States. All rights reserved.

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