Oct 202014
 
 October 20, 2014  Pic of the Week Tagged with: ,  No Responses »
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Weak Gasoline Sales Weighing on Retail Activity but Aiding Consumers. Retail sales at gasoline stations have remained stuck in a holding pattern since early 2011 at about $45 billion per month. Strong domestic crude production coupled with only a modest rebound in vehicle miles driven continue to put steady downward pressure on gasoline prices, and, subsequently, total purchases. Measured as a share of all retail sales, gasoline station sales have declined steadily from just below 12% in early 2011 to only about 10% share currently.

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Oct 062014
 
 October 6, 2014  Pic of the Week Tagged with: ,  No Responses »
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Has the Shift From Coal to Natural Gas in Electricity Production Stalled? Just ten years ago, coal was used to generate 50% of U.S. electricity while natural gas held only an 18% share. Toss in the shale gas revolution and move forward to early 2012 and you have both coal and natural gas producing 32% of U.S. power each. It appeared natural gas was well on its way to replacing much of the coal-fired production in the U.S.

However, our pic-of-the-week illustrates that since early 2012 the shift has taken a clear short-term breather. Coal has made a small comeback and is now closer to 40% of total production. Natural gas has eased back a bit to just under a 30% share. Is the shift from coal to natural gas over?

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Sep 282014
 
 September 28, 2014  Pic of the Week Tagged with:  No Responses »
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U.S. Crude Output Growing Four Times Faster than Natural Gas. The pace of growth in U.S. crude oil output is nothing short of remarkable. Oil output has risen at a 16.1% annualized pace since the beginning of the current cycle in July 2011. Total oil production is up almost 60% in three short years. Our pic-of-the-week shows that oil is also growing four times faster than the 4% annual growth rate of natural gas output since its cycle began in January 2006. For comparison, natural gas output is up roughly 40% in 8+ years.

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Sep 152014
 
 September 15, 2014  Pic of the Week Tagged with:  No Responses »
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NEARLY ALL NET NEW JOBS CREATED IN THE RECOVERY ARE FULL-TIME. Our pic-of-the-week highlights the differing trends in full-time and part-time job creation in the recession and recovery. The U.S. economy has added more than 8 million jobs so far in the job expansion that began in January 2010, and nearly all of the net new jobs are full-time. Part-time employment surged during the recession but has not contributed to job growth in the recovery.

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Aug 312014
 
 August 31, 2014  Pic of the Week No Responses »
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NEARLY ALL OKLAHOMA COUNTIES HAVE DECLINING UNEMPLOYMENT RATES THE PAST YEAR.  There are a number of ways to gauge the underlying strength of a state economy.  One useful way is to measure the cumulative health of the individual counties. We often do this using a simple form of diffusion index which is simply the sum of counties with a declining unemployment rate the past 12 months. For Oklahoma the indicator has returned to very positive territory. After sluggishness in the state economy in 2013, the state has bounced back in 2014 with the jobless rate in a distinct downtrend in nearly every county.

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