According to the Federal Reserve, the level of outstanding student debt in the United States reached $1.75 trillion by the end of 2021.
As the chart shows, the student debt burden has more than tripled over the past 15 years, which is one of the reasons for the calls for student debt relief to grow louder and more frequent.
Student loans are the second largest category of household debt in the U.S., trailing housing debt by a wide margin.
Auto loans are the third largest category, currently standing at $1.3 trillion.
The dataset includes the most indebted companies in the world by total corporate debt according estimates by the British-Australian investment firm Janus Henderson.
In 2019, the total debt of the 900 most indebted companies was $8,325 billion. The most indebted companies were in the oil and gas, utilities, telecommunication and automotive industries. Updated to include Evergrande of China.
Source: Janus Henderson Group
With second-quarter GDP data due out Thursday, the question of whether the economy is in recession will be on everyone’s mind.
The economy stands at least a fair a chance of hitting the rule-of-thumb recession definition of two consecutive quarters with negative GDP readings.
The last two recessions were in 2020 and 2008-2009, as annotated in the chart above.
Should inflation stay at high levels, that then will trigger the biggest recession catalyst of all, namely Federal Reserve interest rate hikes.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said “we just don’t have” conditions consistent with a recession.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis
Mentions of inflation have leveled off since March 2022, with readings of 17% or 18%, after increasing throughout the fall and winter months.
They remain relatively high compared with recent history but have been higher in the past, including 52% in October 1981, 49% in January 1982 and 31% in April 1982, around the time inflation was last at its current rate. Inflation had been named by an average of 1% of Americans between 1990 and 2021.
Shipments of manufactured durable goods in March, up ten of the last eleven months, increased $3.3 billion or 1.2 percent to $274.2 billion.
After over a 60% decline in shipments of Motor Vehicles and Parts early in the pandemic, shipments of Motor Vehicles and Parts were up 11% in nominal terms since January 2020.
Nondefense Capital Goods Excluding Aircraft shipments were up 22% over the same period.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Despite the highest inflation in 40-years, real wages are higher than pre-pandemic as of March 2022. Real wages in March 2022, as calculated by the ratio of Avg. Hrly Earnings to CPI, is actually up 1.8% since Jan 2020!
Average Hourly Earnings are of Production and Nonsupervisory Employees, Total Private, which Paul Krugman used in his Jan 25th op-ed discussing
the inflation narrative.
The Kia Forte subcompact car, which is among the most affordable new cars on the market, has the highest price increase in the most states with 17.
The vehicle with the highest price increase across all states is the Kia Forte in New Jersey with an 61.0 percent increase.
In real terms, Average Hourly Earnings relatively high compared to the last 20 years.
In real terms, Average Hourly Earnings have been trending up since the mid-90's.
About 12,000 more businesses closed than opened in 2020.
In January 2021, the Labor Force Participation Rate was 1.7% below it's December 2019 level.
The Labor Force Participation Rate for women was 1.7% below it's December 2019 level, but was still down 1.9% for men.
The labor force participation rate remains 1.2 percentage points below February 2020
Average Annual Unemployment Rate
2021's average annual unemployment rate was 5.4%, 2.7 percentage points lower than the previous year but still the second highest since 2015.
The US economy added 6.7 million jobs in 2021 after losing 9.3 million jobs in 2020.
All Employees, Total Nonfarm Change y-o-y
Change from preceding December, thousands of persons, non-farm.
Real GDP grew 5.7% in 2021 after decreasing 3.4% in 2020.