In going through books and materials stored in a MAPI office, I found a first edition of Paul Samuelson’s text, Economics: An Introductory Analysis, published in 1948. Samuelson was the first American to win the Nobel Prize in Economics.
While the recent attention paid to rising U.S. oil production clearly is warranted, the other side of the coin—the trend in U.S. petroleum consumption—also deserves recognition because it is no less dramatic, especially against the backdrop of long-term forecasts made just a few years ago.
If observers of the U.S. labor market were hoping for a quiet end to 2012, they got it. The data in the December jobs report were remarkably steady. The unemployment rate, at 7.8 percent, was unchanged from November.
Europe muddled through the crisis in 2012 without advancing much toward its lasting resolution. The high point came mid-year (the “July moment”) when Mario Draghi, the ECB president, vowed to “do whatever it takes” to defend the euro.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Index was 50.7 in December, up from 49.5 in November. Since an index level of 50 is the dividing line between growth and decline, the report on December manufacturing suggests that the sector’s activity fell in November but rose in December.