Household debt in the United States is at an all-time high - more than $17 trillion. Of that amount, the lion's share, almost $12.4 trillion, is for housing, and credit card obligations recently topped $1 trillion. These are big numbers, and they are rising. The question is whether they are a cause for concern. The short answer is "not really" given current conditions, though there are some underlying issues which bear watching.
The opioid crisis is nothing short of tragic. At the same time, it involves substantial economic harm. In this issue, results of The Perryman Group's recent assessment of the economic costs of the opioid crisis are summarized.
Dr. Perryman discusses the importance of Dallas being named one of three national hubs for ARPA-H.
More than any other state, people born in Texas stay in Texas. The US Bureau of the Census recently released data indicating the state of residence by place of birth. When you look at the percentage of people born in Texas, still living in the United States and, in fact, still living in Texas, you get more than 82% as of 2021. That's considerably higher than anywhere else.
The United Auto Workers (UAW) union is in the midst of an unprecedented "stand-up strike" against the three major US auto manufacturers, presently shutting down US factories in Ohio, Michigan, and Missouri; idling 12,700 union workers; and disrupting other parts of the supply chain. These interruptions come at a time when the industry was just beginning to normalize in the aftermath of the pandemic. Given the scope of affected operations, the economic costs of the strike are high and could well increase substantially if the work stoppages are prolonged and expanded.
Dr. Perryman discusses the Fed's latest actions on interest rates.
The United States now exports more liquefied natural gas (LNG) than any other country. It's a relatively new development, with Australia and Qatar usually topping the rankings in the past. The volume of US exports has surged over the past few years, with major new facilities coming online and strong global demand. While Australia and Qatar volumes have been fairly stable since 2018, US exports have basically quadrupled.
Dr. Perryman discusses the higher than expected August inflation rate and what impact it may have on Fed policy.
On August 30, Hurricane Idalia made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane along Florida's Gulf Coast causing severe wind damage and flooding. The storm continued across Georgia as well as South Carolina and North Carolina as a tropical storm. The human suffering is of paramount importance and should be the primary concern, as well as enormous emotional losses. In addition, the storm will have a significant impact on the economy.