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Graphic Economics

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

Change in Selected Components of Real GDP Print
October 27, 2011

Investment performance in the last quarter was both a continuation of the healthy growth rate in equipment and software investment, which rose at a 17.4 percent annual rate, and a 13.3 percent growth rate in non-residential structures. The acceleration in the growth rate for equipment and software investment in the quarter puts it somewhat higher than its 10.0 percent rate over the last year. Some of this are likely erratic factors with the timing of investment, but equipment and software investment is likely to remain healthy. At 7.5 percent of GDP, this component is only modestly below its 8.0 percent pre-recession share.


For more, check out the latest GDP Byte.

Construction as a Share of GDP, 1990-2011 Print
October 25, 2011

While it is unlikely that housing prices will go into another free fall, the near-record vacancy rates will continue to put downward pressure on prices for at least the next couple of years, making unlikely that house prices will keep pace with inflation. Residential construction remains near its post-World War II low as a share of GDP, but is finally on an upward trend. Still it will not reach its normal share until at least 2014.


For more, read the latest Housing Market Monitor.

Eleven Years Under Chained CPI Would Effectively Wipe Out the 2012 COLA Print
October 19, 2011

With the release of the September price data, we now know the 2012 cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits. From the third quarter of 2008 to the third quarter of 2011, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners (CPI-W) rose 3.6 percent. For a retiree receiving $1,115 per month, the COLA will add $482 to annual benefits in 2012.

It is worth noting that some have proposed cutting benefits by calculating the COLA based on the chained CPI (C-CPI-U) rather than the CPI-W. If this policy had been in place today, beneficiaries would receive only a 2.8 percent COLA next year. Over time, these smaller COLAs would add up. Compared with current law, a retiree who received $878 per month in 2001 would, in 2012, see his/her annual benefit decrease by $462 (3.3 percent) under the chained CPI.


For more, check out the latest Prices Byte.

Ecuador: Contributions to Real GDP Growth Print
October 7, 2011

Ecuador's economy grew at an 8.9 percent annual rate in the 2nd quarter.  Growth was driven by construction, which accounted for nearly 40 percent of overall growth.  The only major sector to decline was petroleum, which shaved 0.4 percentage points off of overall GDP growth (annualized).


For more, check out the latest Latin America Byte.

Growth in Health Care as Percent of Total Job Growth, 2006-2011 Print
October 7, 2011

The only two sectors showing much strength in terms of job growth in September were employment services (temp help), which added 23,800 jobs, and health care, which added 43,800 jobs. The health care numbers are striking because this seems to be part of an ongoing trend. Health care employment has grown at a rate of 31,400 per month since June, accounting for almost one-third of employment growth over this period. In a very weak labor market, health care jobs are becoming ever more important.


For more, check out the latest Jobs Byte.

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