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Bill’s By The Number$

Posted by: Lisa Navarro | Posted on: September 21st, 2020 | 0 Comments

  1. A MAJORITY – 52% of US households have investments in US stocks, either through direct ownership of individual stocks or through pooled accounts such as mutual funds (source: Survey of Consumer Finances).
  1. PLAN FOR PRICE INCREASES – As of 8/31/20, the “consumer price index” is up +19% over the last 10 years, up +50% over the last 20 years, and up +98% over the last 30 years. The consumer price index (CPI) is a measure of inflation compiled by the US Bureau of Labor Studies (source: Department of Labor).
  1. THE BANK OWNS IT NOW – Lenders repossessed only 2,035 homes in August 2020. The all-time record for bank repossessions in a single month in US history: 102,134 in September 2010 (source: Attom Data Solutions).
  1. LARGEST EVER – Fiscal year 2020 ends in 9 days (on 9/30/20), completing the largest budget deficit in our nation’s history. Through 8/31/20, the government’s budget deficit had reached $3.007 trillion, more than double the previous red-ink record of $1.413 trillion from fiscal year 2009 (source: Office of Management and Budget).
  1. JUST FIVE YEARS – 55 of the last 60 fiscal years in our country (the 60 years from 1961-2020) have resulted in “outlays” exceeding “receipts.” The 5 surplus years were 1969, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001 (source: Office of Management and Budget).
  1. AS LONG AS RATES STAY LOW – The average interest rate that the US government pays on its interest-bearing debt as of 8/31/20 was 795%, down from 2.331% as of 12/31/15. That means our government can borrow 29.9% more money today than it borrowed 5 years ago and still have the same out-of-pocket interest expense cost (source: Treasury Department).
  1. BACK IN BUSINESS – US ports received ships carrying 2.06 million containers loaded with cargo during the month of August 2020. That’s the largest number ever recorded in a monthly survey compiled since 2002 (source: National Retail Federation Global Port Tracker).
  1. A NEW HIGH – After adjusting numerical data from the past for the impact of inflation, the median household income in 2019 ($68,703) is the highest ever recorded in the USA and is the 4th consecutive year (2016-2019) that produced an all-time inflation-adjusted record. Before 2016, the peak for median household income was $62,641 set in 1999 (source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis).
  1. SHOULD WE GET A BITE TO EAT? – 12% of the “sit-down” restaurant chains, i.e., not “fast food,” that were in business before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States in February 2020, are now out of business and have closed for good (source: Black Box Intelligence).
  1. GOOD LUCK COLLECTING IT – Riders of New York City’s buses and subways are provided masks if they board the city’s public transportation system without facial covering. As of 9/10/20, if any rider refuses to wear a mask, he/she will be fined $50 (source: Metropolitan Transportation Authority).
  1. MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION – On 2/08/20, just 2 days after the first US death from the COVID-19 pandemic, 2.1 million out-of-work Americans were receiving unemployment benefits via state programs across the country. That total rose to 22.8 million by 5/09/20 but has fallen to 12.3 million as of 9/05/20 (source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis).
  1. ON FIRE – Of the 10 largest wildfires in the last 10 years in the state of California, 5 of them are taking place right now. The biggest of the 5 is the August Complex fire, the largest in state history (source: Los Angeles Times).
  1. MORE THAN JUST WAGES – For every $1 spent for wages and salaries in the private sector as of June 2020, employers spend an additional 45 cents on benefits, including paid leave, insurance, retirement plans and legally required benefits. Average private sector compensation is $28.24 per hour while the cost of benefits averages an additional $12.75 per hour (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  1. ANNUAL BUMP – The “cost of living adjustment” (COLA) made to Social Security benefits is calculated based upon the year-over-year increase in prices from the 3rd quarter of subsequent years. g., the COLA that will be applied to benefits paid in January 2021 will be based on the change of prices from the end of the 3rd quarter 2019 to the end of the 3rd quarter 2020.  The COLA increase was +1.6% last year (source: Social Security).
  1. MONDAY NIGHT TV – The first “Monday Night Football” game was played on 9/21/70 or 50 years ago today. The Cleveland Browns beat the New York Jets 31-21.  The TV broadcast team included Keith Jackson, Howard Cosell and Don Meredith.  Jackson was replaced a year later by Frank Gifford (source: Sports Illustrated).

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