Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Best Factoid of the Day: “We believe that the impact of housing on consumer spending has been exaggerated by some commentators. Over the last year, the increase in real disposable income (+ $205 billion) has matched the increase in real consumer spending (+ $188 billion). Strong real wage gains are the major factor driving consumer spending increases. –John Ryding, chief US economist at Bear Stearns

2nd Best Factoid of the Day: The latest data from the IRS indicate that the share of income claimed by the wealthiest 1%, 5%, and 10% of earners is down, not up, since 2000. Even the millionaires, those in the top 0.5% of income, have seen their share of the nation’s total income fall to 15% in 2004, from 17% in 2000. What’s more, the top sliver (i.e. the group that includes just one earner in 1000) now pays 4 times more in total taxes than do all Americans in the entire bottom 50 percent. These are the uncensored facts. -Stephen Moore, The Wall Street Journal

Most Disturbing Thought: “Yield-Curve Recession Indicator Flashes Yellow. “Unless the shape of the Treasury yield curve normalizes in the next few months, going from its current negative to a more normal positive slope, the U.S. could be headed for a recession late next year. That’s the implication of a new paper by economist Arturo Estrella and Mary R. Trubin of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.” And that disturbing thought comes courtesy of Caroline Baum, Bloomberg news columnist.