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Graphic Economics

A collection of graphic representations of data by CEPR researchers on important economic issues.

Venezuela: Annualized Growth Rate, Seasonally Adjusted GDP Print
June 6, 2011

Venezuela’s central bank (BCV) first-quarter GDP report shows an accelerating recovery: GDP grew 4.5% over its first-quarter 2010 level.  For a closer look at the most recent quarter, we need seasonally adjusted data so we can compare it to the quarter just before it.  The central bank’s seasonally-adjusted series ends the third quarter of 2010, but we can estimate it more recently, using the same adjustment that the BCV uses.   Two methods are shown here: first, a simple adjustment of the official, unadjusted GDP series, and second, the sum of the adjusted industry-specific GDP levels. The figure below shows the results of these estimates: first quarter GDP grew by either 9.8% or 9.6% on an annualized basis, depending on which adjustment method we use.


For more on Venezuela's GDP, check out the latest Latin America Data Byte.

Change in Job Levels in Selected Industries, Dec 2007 - May 2011 Print
June 3, 2011

One especially discouraging sign in the latest jobs report was the loss of 2,200 jobs in the employment services sector following a weak gain in April. The weak growth in this sector, coupled with the stagnation in hours, suggests that job growth is not likely to accelerate soon.  The weakness in the private sector goes along with a government sector that lost 29,000 jobs in May and has lost an average of 24,300 jobs over the last three months.


For more, check out our latest Jobs Byte.

Weekly Change in Purchase Mortgage Applications Index, Feb 2010 - May 2011 Print
May 31, 2011

The April data on pending home sales was extremely weak. In addition, the mortgage applications index for purchase mortgages is hovering only slightly above the levels reached last May, following the end of the first-time buyers tax credit. This suggests that home purchases are likely to be weak for the near-term future.


For more, read the latest Housing Market Monitor.

Bolivia: Prices Begin to Stabilize as Inflation Slows Print

May 24, 2011

Bolivia has released its Consumer Price Index for April (CPI), showing a stabilization of prices. Year-over-year inflation has fallen to 11%, from 11.1% in March. Much of the recent run-up in prices has been concentrated in the most volatile sectors: food and energy. Monetary and fiscal policy designed to counter inflation has limited effect on food and energy prices, because they are mostly a result of rising world prices, outside of the control of local authorities.  Excluding these two categories gives us core inflation, which is less volatile and more relevant to economic policymaking. Core inflation for April was 5.9%, a little over half of the headline inflation level.


Note: Data from before and after March 2008 are not strictly comparable because of a methodology change.

For more information, see our latest Latin America Data Byte.

Unfunded Costs: Social Security, Medicare and Medicare Under the Ryan Plan Print
May 13, 2011

An assumed increase in life expectancy is the largest factor in a projected deterioration in Social Security's finances, according to the latest Social Security Trustee's report. The shortfall expressed as a share of payroll over the program's planning horizon is 2.22 percent, compared with 1.92 percent in the 2010 report. Expressed in dollar terms, the projected shortfall over the 75-year planning horizon is $6.5 trillion or 0.7 percent of GDP.

By comparison, the projected shortfall in the Medicare program is equal to 0.25 percent of GDP over the program's planning period or $2.3 trillion. The Congressional Budget Office's assessment of the Ryan plan endorsed by the GOP implied that it would increase the cost to the country of buying Medicare-equivalent policies by more than $34 trillion over the program's 75-year planning period, in addition to transferring $5 trillion in costs from the government to seniors.



For more information, see our latest Social Security Byte.

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