PRICES & SPENDING • May 2013 • Volume 2 / Number 16
Nearly three-quarters of U.S. households own pets. There are about 218 million pets in the United States, not counting several million fish. Pet ownership crosses many demographic boundaries, with Americans of different ages and levels of wealth reporting spending on pets. Further, Americans spend a substantial amount of money on the care and feeding of their animals. Americans spent approximately $61.4 billion in total on their pets in 2011.Read full article » | Download PDF
From food stores to lumber yards, from courier services to water supply systems, the trade, transportation, and utilities industries make up a large portion of private sector employment in the United States. These industries employ 25.6 million workers: 14.9 million in retail trade, 5.6 million in wholesale trade, 4.4 million in transportation and warehousing, and 0.6 million in the utilities industries.
The objective of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is to measure the change in expenditures required to maintain a given standard of living. For expenditures on houses, this leads to a measurement objective that focuses on the shelter services provided by a house over a period of time. A house is a capital asset that provides a flow of services over a substantial period of time, not a one-time consumption item.
Since 2007, the PPI for natural gas has exhibited marked volatility. The Producer Price Index (PPI) for natural gas, measured on an annual average basis, fell 56.8 percent between 2007 and 2012, in response to strong growth in domestic energy production. The application of horizontal hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to shale rock formations contributed significantly to this increase in supply, as the technique boosted natural gas production yield by more than 25 percent over this period.