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Graphic Economics

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



Rental Vacancy Rate, 1991-2011 Print
February 28, 2012

One factor that will continue to depress both construction and house prices is the still near-record vacancy rates. The current vacancy rate is down by more than a percentage point from its peak in 2010, but it is still far higher than any vacancy rate recorded in the years preceding the housing bubble.

This huge number of empty units will not be absorbed quickly, even if the economy were to create jobs at a pace more typical for a recovery from a severe recession (300k-400k a month). While most of the vacancies are for rental units, it is important to remember that rental units can easily become ownership units (almost one-third of rental units are single family houses) if sales prices started to rise relative to rents.

hmm-2012-02-ge

For more, check out the latest Housing Market Monitor.

 
Monthly Change in Jobs Since End of Recession Print
February 3, 2012

The establishment survey showed a gain of 243,000 jobs with the private sector adding 257,000. With upward revisions to job growth for the prior two months, job growth has now averaged 201,000 over the last three months. Ignoring Census hiring, this is the strongest three-month stretch since February to April of last year when job growth averaged 239,000 a month.

jobs-2012-02-ge

For more, check out the latest Jobs Byte.

 
Real Owners' Equivalent Rent, Adjusted for Inflation, 2000-2011 Print
January 31, 2012

It is interesting to compare the path of house prices with the owners’ equivalent rent (OER) index in the CPI to get an assessment of underlying conditions in the housing market. (OER excludes utilities and therefore provides a better comparison than the rental index with sales prices as a measure of the value of housing.) The real value of this index largely peaked with a 4 percent rise in 2002. It then remained flat through the peak bubble years and has since fallen back to its pre-bubble level. This suggests that there is zero evidence of any upward pressure on prices coming from the rental segment of the market as some have claimed.

hmm-2012-01-ge

For more, check out the latest Housing Market Monitor.

 
Change in GDP and Final Demand, 2007-2011 Print
January 27, 2012

A sharp reversal from the third quarter’s decline in inventories added 1.94 percentage points to GDP growth in the fourth quarter, bringing the rate to 2.8 percent. Final demand grew at just a 0.8 percent rate in the quarter, a sharp drop from the 3.2 rate in the third quarter, as a 4.6 percent drop in government spending lopped almost a full percentage point off growth in the quarter.

gdp-2012-01-ge

For more, check out the latest GDP Byte.

 
Prices: Core and Core Excluding Shelter, 2006-2011 Print
January 19, 2012

With very high vacancy rates resulting from the housing bubble, shelter prices had grown slowly and even fell.  Thus, core prices excluding shelter had grown faster than core prices in general.  More recently, a slightly faster rate of growth in rent prices and a slower rate of growth outside of rent have brought the two more in line.

prices-2012-01-ge

For more, check out the latest Prices Byte.

 
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