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Bill’s By The Number$

Posted by: Lisa Navarro | Posted on: May 24th, 2021 | 0 Comments

  1. STOCK PERFORMANCE – After 20 weeks of calendar year 2021, the S&P 500 is up +11.3% YTD (total return) through the close of trading last Friday 5/21/21. The S&P 500 consists of 500 stocks chosen for market size, liquidity and industry group representation.  It is a market value weighted index with each stock’s weight in the index proportionate to its market value (source: BTN Research).
  1. THAT’S INFLATION – Inflation, using the “Consumer Price Index” as the measurement, was up +9.0% in 1978, up +13.3% in 1979, followed by +12.5% in 1980, and up +8.9% in 1981 (source: Department of Labor).
  1. SEND ME YOUR RESUME – The number of job openings in the United States has increased by 1.2 million in the last 2 reported months, meaning that US employers have added 20,441 new job postings each day during February and March this year. The 8.123 million job openings nationwide as of 3/31/21 is the highest number recorded in US history (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  1. IT’S BEEN WORSE – The highest “deficit as a percentage of GDP” in our nation’s history was 29.6% in 1943, the first of 3 consecutive years when the ratio was at least 21% (1943-44-45). Through 7 months of fiscal year 2021, i.e., the 7 months ending 4/30/21, the US government’s $1.932 trillion budget deficit to date represents 8.8% of our $22.0 trillion economy.  Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the annual market value of all goods and services produced domestically by the US (source: Treasury Department).
  1. BUDGET – The Biden White House will release on 5/27/21 its blueprint for government spending for the 2022 fiscal year, i.e., the 12 months from 10/01/21 to 9/30/22. The broad outline covers both mandatory spending (e.g., Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security) and discretionary spending (e.g., defense, foreign aid, education, transportation).  Total outlays are expected to exceed $5 trillion for the entire fiscal year (source: White House).
  1. WE DID, HOW ABOUT YOU? – 59% of US households made a “large purchase” during the first 4 months of 2021, i.e., January 2021 through and including April 2021, the highest percentage reported in 5 years. “Large purchases” include furniture, home repairs and automobiles (source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York).
  1. ON THE ROAD AGAIN – American drivers are projected to use 9.0 million barrels a day of gasoline during the summer of 2021, up from 7.8 million barrels a day of gasoline used during the “pandemic-summer” of 2020, but still down from the 9.6 million barrels a day of gasoline consumed in the summer of 2019 (source: Energy Information Administration).
  1. CASH ONLY – Total US credit card debt peaked at a record $930 billion as of 12/31/19 (pre-pandemic) but has since fallen 17% ($157 billion) to $773 billion as of 3/31/21 (source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York).
  1. LOANS GONE BAD – Bondholders of 43 US companies that defaulted on their debt in 2020 received on average just 45 cents on the dollar through bankruptcy. The defaulting companies, negatively impacted by the pandemic, included businesses in the oil industry and retail stores (source: Moody’s).
  1. WILL IT BE SPENT EVENTUALLY? – The personal savings rate in the US in the 1Q 2021 was 21.0%. The personal savings rate in the US in the 1Q 2001 was 5.0%.  The personal savings rate is defined as “savings” (i.e., after-tax income less consumption spending) divided by after-tax income (source: Department of Commerce).
  1. NOT A HAPPY CAMPER – 70% of Americans under the age of 30 believe the distribution of wealth in the United States is “unjust” (source: Cato Institute).
  1. VP MADE MORE MONEY – President Joe Biden and his wife reported adjusted gross income of $607,336 for tax year 2020. Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband reported adjusted gross income of $1,695,225 for tax year 2020 (source: White House).
  1. BABIES – China had 12 million births in 2020, more than 3 times the 3.6 million births that took place in the United States last year (source: National Vital Statistics System).
  1. BUSINESS DONE ON A CELL PHONE – The US banking industry, employing 2 million workers today, is forecasted to eliminate 10% of that total (200,000) during the upcoming decade. The reductions will take place in local bank branches and regional call centers (source: Mike Mayo, Wells Fargo Bank Analyst).
  1. BEST GOLFERS IN THE WORLD7 of the top 10 golfers in the world as of Monday 5/17/21 were Americans, including 5 of the top 6. Tiger Woods, recovering from his 2/23/21 car accident, has been ranked # 1 in the world for a record 683 weeks.  Woods is currently ranked # 103 in the world (source: Official World Golf Rankings).

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