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April 6, 2014
So Nigeria has now supplanted South Africa as Africa’s largest economy. But I’ve not had light (electricity) for seven days, so it means nothing to me.
A Nigerian social media user • Upon hearing that revised economic figures in the country—a revision 24 years in the making—put the country’s GDP (currently at $510 billion) far ahead of South Africa (currently at $353 billion) and other countries in the African continent. To give you an idea of how long it’s been: During the last GDP check in 1990, 300,000 landlines existed in the country. Now, there are 100 million cell phones. But that GDP level, above developed countries such as Chile, Sweden, and Belgium, belies a tough reality in the country—70 percent of the country’s population still lives in poverty.
18:04 // 6 months ago
May 10, 2012

Crunching the numbers on Romney’s defense spending plan

  • $2 trillion added to Defense budget under Romney proposal source
  • currently Defense spending is roughly equivalent to 3.5 percent of the United States’ average GDP. Romney’s been critical of the Obama Administration’s plan to cut $487 billion in spending over the course of the next ten years.
  • new plan Romney’s proposal calls for tying the Pentagon spending to the nation’s GDP, and guaranteeing a budget equal to 4% of GDP. To meet that goal, defense spending would have to increase by $100 billion in 2013. source

» And that’s just the low-end estimates. Analysts estimate that a gradual increase in the Pentagon’s budget to 4% of GDP would cost the United States roughly $2.1 trillion over the next decade. Should Romney win the election, and immediately push spending up to 4%, the subsequent spending could cost an additional $200 billion or more. While Romney is hardly the first to suggest such a plan, with past notable proponents including former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, some have been quick to condemn any plan tying the budget to GDP in any way. “GDP rises and falls. Do you really want your defense budget falling in a recession?” said Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments’ Todd Harrison, adding, “spending should be determined by the security environment — not the size of your economy.”

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15:53 // 2 years ago
September 29, 2011

Here’s another good-sounding economic story … with a catch

  • 1.3% the increase in U.S. gross domestic product in the second quarter, based on updated final numbers
  • 0.3% the improvement in that number from the initial estimates from the April-to-June quarter source

» Such evocative language in the source story: But before you get too excited about those three-tenths of one percent, just keep in mind the text that AFP used here: “The better-than-expected figure is unlikely to have a major impact on confidence in the enfeebled US economy, but tints the backdrop in a slight less gloomy hue.”

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10:50 // 3 years ago
January 28, 2011

This week’s Egyptian protests, by the numbers (thanks Newsflick)

Our Tumblr friend Newsflick has been doing some great coverage of the Egyptian protests. And in general. He seriously runs a great site that offers a great view of international events. It’s one of our favorite Tumblr blogs, and a truly unsung hero as far as news coverage goes. We got these numbers directly from him – we take no credit, other than that we’re laying them out a little bit more to fit our style. Anyway, here goes:

  • 1,000+ protesters have been arrested source
  • 870+ have been wounded in Cairo alone, according to various reports source
  • 10+ have died in the wake of the Egyptian protests this week source
  • 17% decline in Egypt’s EGX30 stock index in just two days source

» A few more stats (from us): The country sports 17 percent food inflation, which was one of the factors noted in the recent Tunisia uprising. While the country’s GDP growth is respectable, it’s also a severe sign of the country’s inequality. Nearly 40 percent of people – out of a population of 80 million – are poor, and the country’s unemployment is 25 percent. And youth unemployment is incredibly high around the world, especially in Egypt. But even in developed countries, it’s shocking: 40 percent unemployment in Spain. 20 percent unemployment in France. How does this happen? How does our youth culture become so unemployable in these countries? This is a big problem which shows a lack of long-term thinking. (Note: Some numbers just updated)

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14:20 // 3 years ago
December 22, 2010

Revised numbers: GDP improves handily, but not fast enough

  • 2.6% third-quarter boost; good, but not good enough source

» What is “good enough,” anyway?: We’ll leave this assessment to someone who knows a little more about banking. “Growth really needs to be closer to 4% for a couple of years to bring down the unemployment rate,” said Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wells Fargo. So, in other words, we’re getting there, but this isn’t cooking with gas. This is the pilot light on the oven staying out for an extended period. The economy needs a spark.

10:17 // 3 years ago
November 23, 2010

U.S. economy growing, but not fast enough to spur job growth

  • 2.5% the amount the U.S. economy grew in the third quarter (that’s pretty good, actually)
  • 1.7% the amount the economy grew in the prior quarter (we improved; that’s even better!)
  • 3.5% the rate of growth that’s economists say we need to cut the unemployment rate (that’s bad) source
9:12 // 3 years ago