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Graphic Economics

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



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.

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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).

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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.

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For more, check out the latest Jobs Byte.

 
Brazil: Real GDP, Selected Sectors (Seas. Adj. Index) Print
September 30, 2011

Brazil's second quarter GDP saw a return to the long-term trend toward services and away from industry, after an anomaly in the first quarter.  In the first quarter, manufacturing began to close the gap with finance and insurance, but the gap widened again in the second quarter, with finance and insurance growing at a 2.3 percent annual rate, and manufacturing shrinking at a 0.8 percent annual rate.

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For more, check out the latest Latin America Data Byte.

 
Overall Vacancy Rate, 1991-2011 Print
September 27, 2011

The extraordinarily low mortgage interest rates of recent months will provide some boost to the market, though the scaling back of Fannie and Freddie’s higher mortgage limits will be a factor going in the other direction. However, the main factor weighing on house prices has to be the enormous amount of excess supply in most parts of the country. The inventories of new and existing homes for sale remain above normal levels. In addition, there is a large amount of inventory not showing up on the market, which is best demonstrated by the near record vacancy rate nationwide.

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For more, check out the latest Housing Market Monitor.

 
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