Gallup daily poll on economic conditions

August 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Each day, Gallup polls Americans on how they view economic conditions. The percentage saying the economy is poor shot up by 10 points around the time of the congressional battle over raising the debt ceiling.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/110821/Gallup-Daily-US-Economic-Conditions.aspx

You can download the data and build your own chart. Unfortunately, these figures only go back to 2009, so they don’t capture the period before the recession that began in December 2007. I suspect you could get older figures by contacting Gallup directly.

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S&P sovereign credit ratings

August 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

Standard and Poors just downgraded the U.S. credit rating a few hours before I posted this, so I haven’t seen any news graphics posted about this subject. But you can go to this link to see where the U.S. ratings stand compared with other countries. The down grade puts us below Canada, on par with Belgium and above Japan.
http://www.standardandpoors.com/ratings/sovereigns/ratings-list/en/us?sectorName=Governments&subSectorCode=39

The ratings bring the U.S. credit-worthiness from “extremely strong” to “very strong” based on its political and economic profile, which I find kind of funny despite the seriousness of the situation.

Debt limit

July 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

debt limit wall street journal
On the same day, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post published graphics highlighting tough choices the federal government would need to make if the debt ceiling isn’t raised by Aug. 2: The U.S. would need to decide which bills to pay and which to skip. The Wall Street Journal’s graphic is above and the Washington Post’s is below.
washington post debt limit
The Washington Post also published an interactive graphic in which the user can chose which federal bills to pay with the limited funds that would be available.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/federal-debt-limit-you-choose-who-gets-paid/?hpid=z2

Both publications turned to a recent analysis by the Bipartisan Policy Center, which estimated daily receipts and payments based on publicly available data from daily Treasury statements. The report provides specificity that brings home what this crisis could mean for our country.

http://www.bipartisanpolicy.org/library/staff-paper/debt-limit-analysis

bipartisan policy center debt limit analysis

Who holds Greek debt?

July 4, 2011 § 1 Comment

With Greece heading toward default on its debt, many news organizations are looking at who would pick up the tab. This New York Times chart breaks down how much Greek debt each country holds. The data comes from the Bank for International Settlements, which coordinates international financial services regulations and serves as a bank for central banks.

The BIS maintains a vast menu of statistics, so here is the exact location where you would find these figures:

Go to the BIS site’s Consolidated Banking Statistics page (http://www.bis.org/statistics/consstats.htm.)
Scroll down to the bottom, where you will see a link to Table 9E Foreign exposures on selected individual countries, ultimate risk basis. Note that not all countries will be listed in the data.

Economic history

March 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

angus maddison world gdp

When China officially became the world’s second-largest economy last month, the Wall Street Journal ran this chart, which shows the world economy way back to 1820. Before seeing this data, I hadn’t imagined you could show Gross Domestic Product figures so far into the past. That’s because I hadn’t discovered the work of late economist Angus Maddison, a world scholar of quantitative macroeconomic history and the go-to source for historical GDP figures. His statistics stretch to 1 AD and are presented in purchasing power parity, a GDP calculation that adjusts for differences in wages and prices among economies.

Following is a link to his data:

http://www.ggdc.net/MADDISON/Historical_Statistics/horizontal-file_02-2010.xls

And to the University of Groningen page dedicated to him:

http://www.ggdc.net/maddison/

Gas prices

December 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

When gas prices begin to rise, news organizations typically begin to track the costs over time and across the nation, as shown in this 2006 Washington Post map above. The AAA Fuel Gauge Report (http://fuelgaugereport.aaa.com) provides these state-level prices daily. It also offers them by metro area if you need to make a more localized comparison.

Charts from the AAA Fuel Gauge site:

 

For historical prices, you need to go to the Energy Information Administration’s Petroleum Navigator (http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_pri_gnd_dcus_nus_w.htm), which gives weekly gas prices for more than a decade.

Vampire power

October 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

Nigel Holmes vampire energy

Someone showed a snippet of this video for comic relief at the Society of News Design convention. I’m a fan of Nigel Holmes, who did the drawings and narration for the video, and his voice and style work perfectly. Not only is it funny, it’s actually a good little explanatory piece on vampire energy. GoodMagazine partnered with Holmes on this one.

The link:

http://youtu.be/zgZfry82LC4

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