Daily Market Commentary for September 13, 2011
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According to the Census Bureau, a record number of people were in poverty during 2010 as households saw their income decrease - demonstrating the weakness of the economy even after the recession ended. The 46.2 million people in poverty during 2010 was the largest group for the 52 years that estimates have been published. Additionally, the number of people in poverty rose for the fourth consecutive year as the poverty rate climbed to 15.1%, striking the highest level reached since 1993, up from 14.3% during 2009. Real median household income during 2010 was $49,445 - down 2.3% from 2009 and below pre-recession levels. Although economists say the recession ended in 2009, employment remained weak in 2010, with a national employment gain of only about 940,000 jobs which is less than half the growth in the civilian population that is outside prisons and the military. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate remained elevated, declining to 9.4% by the end of 2010 from a peak of 10.1% in 2009. For 2010, the poverty threshold for a four-person family including two children was about $22,000. The official definition of poverty excludes certain benefits such as food stamps and housing assistance. Private insurance covered nearly 64% of people during 2010, down from nearly 64.5% in 2009, with such coverage trending down since 2001. Those covered by employment-based insurance ticked down to 169.3 million from 170.8 million. Those covered by government insurance rose to 31% from 30.6%. In 2010, nearly 9.8% of children under the age of 18 were uninsured. For 2010, real median income for family householdsâ€™ fell 1.2% to $61,544 while nonfamily householdsâ€™ income dropped 3.9% to $29,730. Real median income drop by region for 2010 - in the West about 2.9%; in the Midwest 2.5%; in the South 1.9% and in the Northeast 1.2%. Real median income drop by race - black households 3.2% and white households1.7%. Real median income drop by sex in 2010 - men who are full-time workers fell 0.4% while women had a gain of 0.1%. During 2010 women made about $36,931 or nearly 77% of $47,715 for men. The poverty rate reached 22% in 2010 among children under age of 18 compared with 13.7% among those 18 to 64. During 2009, the poverty rate among children under age of 18 was 20.7% compared with those 18 to 64 at 12.9%. Poverty rate by race in 2010 - blacks was 27.4% compared with 26.6% among Hispanics, 13% among whites and 12.1% among Asians. Poverty rate by region - South 16.9%, West 15.3%, Midwest 13.9% and Northeast 12.8%.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed optimism that Europe would resolve Finlandâ€™s objections to rescue measures for Greece. As a result, U.S. markets meandered during the session today, stuck in the muck on Wall Street. Stuck in the muck is better than riding the waterfall of blood. A former Chinese central bank official said helping Italy would be positive for China and the world. People's Bank of China Vice Governor Wu Xiaoling said that while Italy must solve its own problems, the world can give Italy time and confidence. Wu additionally said that 'panic' in financial markets over European sovereign debt issues 'doesn't help solve the problem'. While comments by Wu, currently a lawmaker in China's legislature, do not necessarily represent the views of China's top leadership, in her current post, she has no authority over the investment of China's foreign exchange reserves but, her comments do give an indication of the thinking of some Chinese officials on the subject.
The U.S. Labor Department reported earlier this morning that U.S. import prices fell 0.4% during August, mainly on lower energy costs, along with a decline in prices for food and materials. With the data showing less inflationary pressure - this potentially offers the Federal Reserve additional space for more stimulus moves to bolster the economy.
A study which tracked 104 non-diabetic patients with mild cognitive impairment or mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease, showed that those receiving regular doses of insulin performed better on memory tests than those who were given a placebo. This data released after a study featured in the online edition of the Archives of Neurology on Tuesday showed that insulin nasal spray may help slow the progression of early-stage Alzheimer's disease. While the difference between the two groups was not dramatic, the results do however warrant further investigation.
Per the Treasury Department, the federal government ran a budget deficit of $134 billion in August, $44 billion more than the shortfall recorded in the same month in 2010. Much of the increase was due to the timing of payments for certain government benefits, Treasury said. The latest monthly figure pushes the year-to-date deficit to $1.23 trillion, $25 billion above where it was in August 2010.
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