Retail sales and professional and business services are an important part of the local economies of every county throughout Kansas. CEDBR has updated its service and retail gap analysis for every county in Kansas, comparing the retail sales and employment, as well as sales and employment of the professional, scientific, technical, and other services sectors in each county to their peer counties in Kansas.
The contestants in CEDBR’s S&P 500 Prediction Challenge each gave a prediction for the value of the S&P 500 stock market index on August 31st, 2018. As of November 5th, the closing date for entries into the Challenge, the S&P 500 index was valued at 2,587. The median prediction among the contestants for the S&P 500 Index is 2,663.58 points. On average, contestants predicted that the S&P 500 will increase by 3 percent over the next ten months, after the index increased by 14.6 percent this year to date.
Approximately 60 percent of the contestants predicted that the stock market would increase in 2018 over its November 2017 value. Many of their predictions were more bullish than major analysts forecast for 2018. Recently, analysts at Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup forecast the S&P 500 to reach 2,500 points, 2,600 points, and 2,675 points, respectively, in 2018. The Federal Reserve Board has forecast continued economic growth in 2018, with modest inflationary expectations and a half point increase in the Federal Funds rate projected.
See results at www.KansasEconomy.org.
Between the second and third quarters of 2017, the general level of misery experienced by people in the United States and Kansas increased, but remained below the 2016 level, reversing the improvements of the second quarter. This can be attributed to increases in the unemployment rate and inflation.
Among the metropolitan areas in the state, Wichita and Kansas City both have levels of misery above the state level. The level of misery in Wichita is above the national level, all other areas in Kansas are below the national level.
The Misery Index, as calculated by the Center for Economic Development and Business Research (CEDBR), includes the following components:
The employment-population ratio is a measure of labor market strength. It is calculated by dividing the total number of employed workers in a geographic region by the total civilian non-institutionalized population, ages 16 and over, in that region. This is often used alongside the unemployment rate in determining the strength of the labor market.
The Consumer Price Index is used to calculate inflation, or the change in price of a basket of goods and services, as it impacts consumers; whereas, the Producer Price Index measures changes in selling prices, thereby expressing price changes from the perspective of the seller who produces a particular commodity.
A slide presentation updated with October 2017 data shows the Midwest inflation rate increased slightly from September to October for both smaller metro areas (0.39 percent) and non-metro areas (0.41 percent). The larger metropolitan areas noticed a -0.05 percent decrease.
The Producer Price Index data shows that prices in the United States have increased from October 2016 to October 2017 for aircraft (0.8 percent), slaughter livestock (11.1 percent), crude petroleum (6.5 percent), wheat (20.6 percent) and sorghum (15.8 percent). During that same time period, the index decreased for natural gas (-5.1 percent).
From August to September, the WSU Current Conditions Index increased by 0.9 percent. The Current Conditions Index increased year-to-year by 1.5 percent from September 2016 to September 2017. In addition, the Leading Index is forecasting a 0.02 percent increase in economic activity over the next six months.
There was an average of 14,164 unemployed people in the Wichita metropolitan area in the third quarter of 2017, approximately 55 percent of whom collected unemployment insurance benefits. In the third quarter of 2017, there were approximately 7,778 people, age 16 and over, who collected unemployment insurance benefits. That is a 37 percent increase from the second quarter of 2017.
In the third quarter of 2017, four industries accounted for 60 percent of unemployment insurance beneficiaries in the Wichita area; manufacturing, administrative and support and waste management and remediation services, construction, and health care.
Real gross domestic product by state and metropolitan area is a measure of the area’s production of goods and services. It represents the final market value, based on national prices, of all goods and services produced in the area in a given year.
Overall, the state of Kansas had an increase in Gross State Product between 2015 and 2016 of 0.2 percent. However, each of the metropolitan areas within the state had a different total growth rate in the production of goods and services.
The Cost of Living Index, from The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER), measures regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services, excluding taxes and non-consumer expenditures, for professional and managerial households in the top income quintile.
The three Kansas metropolitan areas included in the index, averaged 1.6 percent below the national average when weighted by population.
To subscribe to the Cost of Living Index report, or to learn more about The Council for Community and Economic Research, visit their website.
Industries in the computer and electronic product manufacturing subsector include establishments that manufacture computers, computer peripherals, communications equipment, and similar electronic products and establishments that manufacture components for such products. The design and use of integrated circuits and the application of highly specialized miniaturization technologies are common elements in the production process in this subsector.
In Kansas, computer and electronic product manufacturing is generally a high-wage industry, with the exception of semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing.
The U.S. Census Bureau has published their population projections for the entire United States from 2015 to 2060 , and they project that the United States population will grow from 321.4 million to 416.8 million in that period. This represents 29.6 percent growth for the U.S. population, which is projected to expand more rapidly than the Kansas population.
Both the Kansas and the U.S. populations are projected to have positive growth rates throughout this period, with growth generally slowing over much of this period as well.