The Morning Economic Report en America's Productivity Puzzle - 7/30/14 <p>One of the great economic puzzles of the day is America’s productivity puzzle.&nbsp; Why is American productivity not expanding more rapidly?&nbsp; Labor productivity, which is measured as output per hour worked, has expanded at a 1.7 percent annualized rate during the recovery, about half the pace of the mid-2000s.&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 09:30:00 +0000 Anirban Basu 502837 at Federal Spending on Healthcare - 7/29/14 <p>The growth in federal spending on healthcare will continue to decline as a proportion of the overall economy according to a recent report supplied by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.&nbsp; The budget office stated in its annually produced 25-year forecast that federal spending on major healthcare programs would amount to 8 percent of gross domestic product by 2039, one-tenth of a percentage point lower than its previous projection.&nbsp; With this latest revision, the Congressional Budget Office has now reduced its 10-year estimate for spending by Medicare, Medicaid and other health programs by 1 point two three trillion dollars starting in 2010, the year in which the Affordable Care Act took effect.&nbsp;</p><p> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 09:30:00 +0000 Anirban Basu 502836 at Adjusting Government Spending - 7/28/14 <p></p> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 07:42:47 +0000 Anirban Basu 502786 at Ongoing Improvement of the U.S. Job Market - 7/25/14 <p>There is little question that the U.S. labor market is improving.&nbsp; Job growth has accelerated in recent months and unemployment has been falling.&nbsp; There are some that believe that the ongoing improvement of the nation’s job market will eventually pull more people back into the labor force.&nbsp;</p><p> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:30:00 +0000 Anirban Basu 502613 at Persistence of Long-Term Unemployment - 7/24/14 <p>One of the most puzzling aspects of the current economic expansion is the persistence of long-term unemployment.&nbsp; After all, payroll employment has now surpassed its pre-recession peak.&nbsp;</p><p> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 09:30:00 +0000 Anirban Basu 502612 at Inversion Deals - 7/23/14 <p>America has among the highest corporate income taxes in the world and a growing number of domestic firms are merging with foreign companies in order to reduce their tax burdens.&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 23:29:03 +0000 Anirban Basu 502611 at Air Passenger Traffic on the Rise - 7/22/14 <p>Global air passenger traffic is doubling every 15 years, bringing more people to already congested airports and airplanes.&nbsp; Over the past two decades, the average number of seats per flight has increased by 32 percent according to Airbus.&nbsp; Flying can be uncomfortable, but certain airlines are taking steps to make their customers more comfortable, at least those that can afford a higher quality of service.&nbsp;</p> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 02:02:40 +0000 Anirban Basu 502482 at Large Cities and Wealthy Nations - 7/21/14 <p></p><p>There was a time when the largest cities of the world were primarily in wealthy nations.&nbsp; Those cities were associated with plentiful job opportunities, drawing people to them.&nbsp; In 1950, 20 of the world’s 30 largest cities were in nations deemed to be high income by the World Bank.&nbsp; Back then, New York represented the largest urban area on the planet with 12.3 million residents.&nbsp; Tokyo, with 11.3 million people, was second, and New York and Tokyo were the only areas with more than 10 million people.&nbsp;</p><p> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 23:28:50 +0000 Anirban Basu 502481 at Vacation Time - 7/18/14 <p>America stands alone among developed countries of the world by not mandating vacation time.&nbsp; According to a 2014 Oxford Economics analysis, of those who do get vacation time, 4 in 10 Americans stockpile them, failing to take all the days they’re offered.&nbsp; Those stay-at-work Americans leave an average of 8.1 days unused.&nbsp; That translates into about 429 million unused days per year.&nbsp;</p><p> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 09:30:00 +0000 Anirban Basu 502261 at Homeownership of Young Adults - 7/17/14 <p>Homeownership has been falling over the last few years in much of the United States, but the decline among younger adults has been particularly striking.&nbsp; The homeownership rate in the 25 to 34 age group fell by nearly 8 percentage points from 2004 to 2013 according to a recent report from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.&nbsp; As pointed out by writer Lisa Prevost, over the same period, student debt surged by more than 400 percent to top $1 trillion, a run-up that dwarfs the surge in mortgage debt during the housing bubble.&nbsp; The connection between student debt and declining homeownership appears unassailable based on these data.&nbsp;</p><p> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 09:30:00 +0000 Anirban Basu 502259 at