News by the Numbers

2.2%

The latest yearly inflation reading.

The headline Consumer Price Index was flat in November. Falling fuel costs were a major reason: gasoline prices slipped 4.2% in the eleventh month of the year; overall energy prices, 2.2%. This left the 12-month inflation increase at a level closer to the Federal Reserve’s longstanding target.

Source: 24/7 Wall Street 1

61.3%

The reduction in the number of U.S. banks since 1990.

According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, there were 12,343 banks in America 28 years ago. At the end of Q3 2018, the total was 4,774. As Florida Bankers Association CEO Alex Sanchez told Fox Business last week, “We are at a historical low with the number of banks in our country.”

Source: Fox Business, FDIC 2,3

206,000

Initial unemployment claims for the week ending December 8.

On December 13, the Department of Labor announced this total, which was 27,000 less than the number from the previous week. Between November 10 and December 1, initial claims had risen from 221,000 to 233,000. Even if the drop was aided by seasonal hiring, the low number helps to dispel fears of the jobless rate suddenly trending up.

Source: Briefing.com 4

5

The number of counties that saw nearly 100% of U.S. net new business growth in 2007-16.

Economic Innovation Group, a bipartisan public policy organization, just studied Census Bureau data compiled in this period. It found that the total number of businesses in the U.S. grew by 55,000 during this time, but 94.5% of this net gain happened in just five counties representing four metro areas: Kings and Queens Counties, NY (that is, Brooklyn and Queens), Harris County, TX (Houston), Los Angeles County, CA, and Miami-Dade County, FL. Outside of these five counties, the net increase was minimal.

Source: CBS News 5

15,000

The number of Americans who will soon have their student loan debt canceled.

The Department of Education announced Friday that it will terminate the education debt owed by former students of U.S. colleges that closed their doors between November 2013 and December 2018. The move is being made in accordance with a federal court ruling. Roughly half of these students had attended the for-profit vocational schools owned by the now-defunct Corinthian Colleges.

Source: Fortune 6




This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. All indices referenced are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Citations.

1 - 247wallst.com/economy/2018/12/12/consumer-prices-look-more-tame-into-year-end-as-oil-and-energy-prices-fall/ [12/12/18]

2 - www.foxbusiness.com/features/americas-banks-are-sl... [12/14/18]

3 - www.fdic.gov/bank/statistical/stats/2018sep/fdic.p... [9/30/18]

4 - www.briefing.com/Investor/Calendars/Economic/Relea... [12/13/18]

5 - www.cbsnews.com/news/half-of-america-hasnt-recover... [12/14/18]

6 - fortune.com/2018/12/14/betsy-devos-student-loan-debt-canceled/ [12/14/18]

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