Smoke, a Bull Market, & More
Week in Review: June 5-9
This week was light on economic data releases but heavy on smoke from the Canadian wildfires. Air pollution causes health effects, like low birth weights and increased incidence of neurological disorders, but even short-term exposure can significantly worsen work performance; umpires make more bad calls, factory workers are slower at packing boxes, investors generate lower returns, call center employees handle fewer calls, students perform worse on tests, and politicians make lower quality speeches, just to mention a few effects. Add in the canceled games, flights, concerts, and other events we’ve seen over the past few days, and this is a serious economic drag.
Next week will have more economic data releases and hopefully a lot less smoke.
Gas prices fell by about $0.03/gallon during the first week of June and are well over a dollar less per gallon than during the same week last year.
TSA Checkpoint Travel Numbers
After a record setting Memorial Day weekend, the number of people passing through TSA security over the past week fell back below 2019 levels. It’s likely that leisure travel is up from the pre-pandemic norm, but the lack of business travel is dragging down the total number of air travelers.
Services Purchasing Managers Indices
S&P and ISM each conduct a survey of executives at service-providing companies (you can see what industries are included in each measure here). Based on the output of those surveys, the services sector grew in May. Because people want to spend more on services, services prices continue to rise (the opposite of what we’re seeing with goods prices over the past few months).
Global Supply Chain Pressure Index
The supply chain crisis is over. According to the May reading of the GSCPI, a measure of supply chain pressures, there are fewer disruptions to global shipping than at any time since at least 1997. This has (and will continue to) reduce the rate at which goods prices are increasing.
Firm Migrations in the U.S.
A record 6,384 businesses moved from one state to another in 2021. Blame remote work, tax environments, and weather. Regionally, the south gained businesses at the expense of the rest of the country. New York and California lost the most businesses to other states, and—no surprises here—Florida and North Carolina were the most popular destinations.
U.S. Trade Balance
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