Ryan's Feed
Nov 4, 2013
via Data Dive

The state of global manufacturing

U.S. companies cut back on spending in September, Reuters writes. Factory orders were up overall, but “new orders of non-military capital goods other than aircraft, an indicator of business spending plans, fell 1.3 percent during the month.”

Here’s a look at factory data — or the purchasing managers index (PMI) — from the Americas. The U.S. had its best showing since 2011, per data released last week.

Nov 4, 2013
via Data Dive

The battle for an extra inch of space on long-distance flights

The battle for comfort in commercial air travel, it turns out, is a game of inches. A fight for an extra inch of seat width in long-distance flights is brewing between the world’s two top planemakers, Reuters’ Tim Hepher writes.

The dispute focuses on the width of seats provided on long-haul flights for economy passengers – not always the ones most courted by airlines, but whose allocated space holds the key to efficiency claims for the latest jets offered by Airbus and Boeing.

Nov 1, 2013
via Counterparties

The food stamp cliff

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Starting today, one in every seven Americans will be affected by the first across-the-board cut in the history of America’s food stamp program. So, to echo Duncan Black, Happy Friday!

Oct 31, 2013
via Data Dive

Teens may have cooled on Facebook, but investors haven’t

As Reuters reports, Facebook’s stock was up as much as 15% in extended trading yesterday, despite some worrying new information about the site’s popularity. Facebook’s daily usage in the US has plateaued of late, and the company’s CFO said yesterday that young teens aren’t flocking to the site at the rate they once were:

The company reported better-than-expected results on Wednesday, helped by strong advertising revenue. But Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman later said there had been a decrease in daily users, specifically among younger teens.

Oct 30, 2013
via Data Dive

Syria’s polio outbreak threatens millions of children: WHO

A polio outbreak in Syria posses a threat to millions of children in the Middle East, the World Health Organization said yesterday. Here’s more from Reuters:

This virus has come over land which means the virus is not just in that corner of Syria but in a broad area,” Bruce Aylward, WHO assistant director-general for polio, emergencies and country collaboration, told Reuters in an interview.

Oct 28, 2013
via Data Dive

Half the world’s beer comes from four companies

Reuters reports  this morning that the world of big brewers could become even more consolidated. The timing may be right for the long-rumored $100 billion merger between Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller, Philip Blenkinsop and Martinne Geller report:

“…with AB InBev planning to return to a comfortable pre-deal debt-to-EBITDA ratio of below two next year, industry experts are betting on a combination of its Budweiser and Stella Artois brands with SABMiller’s Peroni and Grolsch. Some expect a deal within a year.

Oct 24, 2013
via Counterparties

A more perfect EUnion

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“Winter slips away,

spring is still holding its breath.

Heaven has its doubts.” 

That’s a haiku by European Council president — and sometime poet — Herman Achille Van Rompuy, which Bloomberg’s James Neuger suggests can be read as a meditation on the state of the European Union. Both Bloomberg and the WSJ echo this poem’s resigned tone: Europe seems to be failing in its attempts to become a little more Union-y and prevent future debt crises. Germany, the WSJ says, is pushing back on proposals that would create a shared method for winding down struggling banks. Reuters, however, reports that EU leaders will announce a timetable for a full bank union by the end of the year.

Oct 23, 2013
via Data Dive

Alternative leading indicator of the day: chemical shipments

Calculated Risk, the widely-read economic blog that always tends to spot interesting data sets, put together this chart. The data is from the American Chemistry Council, and its an impressive proxy for US economic growth.

Here’s more on this data — officially referred to as the Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB) — from the American Chemistry Council:

Oct 22, 2013
via Data Dive

America’s mediocre labor market recovery, in charts

Economists expected a gain of 180,000 jobs in September, while today’s Commerce Department data showed a gain of just 148,000 jobs. Here’s today’s disappointing results in chart form:


And here’s a look at America’s labor force, which has been shrinking over the last few years:

Oct 21, 2013
via Data Dive

Another milestone for gay marriage in America

“New Jersey on Monday became the 14th U.S. state to legalize gay marriage after Governor Chris Christie withdrew its legal opposition to same-sex nuptials,” Reuters reports.

Here’s a Reuters interactive look at how gay marriage laws have changed across the globe. In March, Business Insider had a nice rundown of how Pew polling data has shown growing support for gay marriage over the last decade, especially in America’s faster-growing demographics.