Economic and Investment News Bits
- “Last Thanksgiving, the 10-year treasury bond was 2.71%, going to 3.03% at year end. Now the 10-year bond is at 2.32%, and it is likely to end the year below 2.40%. These low interest rates are very supportive to a further rise in stock prices,” (Source: Jeremy Siegel, Wharton School).
- In 2000, the average 65 year-old American male had a life expectancy of an additional 19.6 years. Today, that life expectancy is 21.6 years. The average female life expectancy has gone from an additional 21.4 years to 23.8 years. (Source: Society of Actuaries)
- In 1940, Detroit was the 4th largest city in the country. Today it ranks number 18. The city has lost more than 1 million people, or 62% of its population, during that time. (Source: Census Bureau)
- A recent study by City University of New York notes the 10 Essential Skills, Abilities, and Values employers most want from graduates. “Dinosaurs did not become extinct because they were weak; they disappeared because they could not adapt to a changing environment.” Among those qualities listed were 1) Communication Skills, 2) Creativity, 3) Adaptability, 4) Critical Thinking, 5) Ability to Collaborate and Cooperate, 6) Ability to Retrieve and Present Information, 7) Lifelong Learning, 8) Use Knowledge in Real-World Settings, 9) Character/Ethics/Integrity, 10) Positive Attitude and Empathy.
- None of our 50 states is anywhere close to accumulating assets sufficient to pay its obligations to retiring state government workers. Some, however, are much worse than others. The ten worst-funded states are North Dakota, Massachusetts, and Hawaii (tied at a 29% funding level), followed by New Hampshire and Kansas (28%), Mississippi (27%), Alaska (25%), Kentucky (24%), Connecticut (23%), and in last place, Illinois (22%).
- The average Thanksgiving dinner this year will cost $49.41, according to the American Farm Bureau. This is quite a bit less than 100 years ago, when the inflation-adjusted cost would have been $167.77.
Thought for the week
“Be thankful for what you have. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
Oprah Winfrey, American entertainer (b. 1954)
Graph of the Week (CLICK TO ENLARGE)
Inflation has remained below 2% this year mainly due to falling energy costs. Gasoline prices nationwide have decreased by over 5% in the last six months alone. The Federal Reserve would like to see inflation closer to 2.5% in order to raise interest rates. The unemployment rate has decreased close to their target levels, but inflation has remained fairly subdued.
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