A New Year’s resolution: More homemade food : Food prices for dining out vs. staying home

Here at the FRED Blog we’re continuously looking for self-improvement opportunities, and our New Year’s resolution is to focus on home-cooked foods. Food at home is often fresher and healthier, but it’s also less expensive: The graph above shows that the cost of food away from home has been increasing much faster than the average of all foods. We’ll try to pepper the FRED Blog with healthier and tastier posts all through the year.
How this graph was created: Search for “CPI food,” check the two series, and click “Add to Graph.”
Suggested by Christian Zimmermann.

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Globalization affects India, too : A look at trade openness and the labor income share in India

A previous post discussed the recent decrease in the labor share and increase in the capital share in GDP for many nations. Reasons for this decline in payments to labor include capital-augmenting technology growth, globalization, and changing skill composition of the labor force. In this post, we focus solely on India’s story.
In the 1990s, India began to implement a series of economic reforms that, among other things, helped open up the economy to trade and foreign investment. These policy changes reduced import tariffs and regulations, with the aim of making the economy more market-oriented. As a result, the labor share of India’s income decreased significantly.
The graph above shows that India’s trade openness, measured as the ratio of the sum of India’s exports and imports to India’s GDP, increased by nearly 124% between 1980 and 2017. (In comparison, U.S. trade openness increased by only 19% over the same period.) India’s labor share

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Native Americans in the U.S. : A look at county-level Native American population data

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FRED has added a great deal of county-level data recently, including population estimates, which include various race and ethnicity categories. These new data are especially well-suited for viewing on a map. So, of course, we look to GeoFRED: The map above shows non-Hispanic Native Americans. Note that the color scheme relates to the total number of Native Americans in each county, not in proportion to the county’s overall population.
Clearly, large numbers of Native Americans live in the West, especially the Southwest, and in Oklahoma—for obvious historical reasons that involve displacement of Native peoples. There are also quite a few counties where hardly any Native Americans live: For example, there are none in the Kansas counties of Comanche and Cheyenne. On the other side of the range, the Arizona counties of Navajo and Apache are in the top five most-populated. Unfortunately, we have no data for Oglala Lakota County

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What fuels air pollution? : A look at CO2 emissions by fuel type

The U.S. Energy Information Administration collects data on CO2 emissions, and FRED has recently added these data to its catalog. The graph above stacks the amount of CO2 emitted from the three main energy sources: coal, natural gas, and petroleum. Given the recent shift in energy sources, it shouldn’t be surprising the coal-related share of emissions has declined as the natural gas-related share of emissions has grown. Now let’s look at the picture across different economic sectors.

Our second graph shows the sources of CO2 emissions from coal. Clearly, electric power generation creates the bulk of emissions. Industrial uses—the creation of steel, for example—contribute some emissions as well. The other sectors are negligible, with transportation registering a zero for all periods. (Coal-powered steam locomotives had been decommissioned by the start of the sample period.) Our next graph shows the same distribution for natural gas, with all sectors contributing to emissions. The

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Working 9 to 5: Women make up more of the workforce : A look at women in the workforce by sector

“Tumble out of bed and I stumble to the kitchen. Pour myself a cup of ambition…”  —Dolly Parton
The song and the movie 9 to 5 were released in 1980, back when women made up only 41% of employed workers in the U.S.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has continued to collect the data and recently announced that women have broken through the 50/50 threshold in the U.S. workforce: That is, more women are employed than men. As the FRED graph above shows, this is the second time in U.S. history this threshold has been crossed. (Note that the December 2019 number is 50.0% in this graph, but a more exact value is 50.04%.)
FRED has more-specific data to help illuminate this event. To begin with, there have been more employed women than employed men in the private service-providing industry since 1985; and this share has grown over time. In the goods-producing industry,

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Do government dollars drive recovery? : The conventional wisdom and data behind government spending during recessions

Conventional wisdom suggests that, once you determine the appropriate level of government spending on goods and services, this level should grow more or less in line with the growth of the broader economy. Keeping the growth rate of government spending stable over the business cycle helps stabilize the business cycle.
But let’s see what the data show: The FRED graph above plots (1) the percentage change year-to-year of total government spending on goods and services and (2) the employment-to-population ratio. The three shaded regions in the graph represent periods of recession, each characterized by a rapid decline in employment followed by a gradual recovery. But the growth in nominal government spending wasn’t the same across these three recessions: It decelerates in the early 1990s recession, remains relatively stable in the early 2000s recession, and declines precipitously into negative territory in the most recent recession.
The recessions themselves were also different: The recession

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Modular Homes Coming to NYC in 2020 Under Assoumou & Brownstone NYC

NEW YORK (STL.News) – Schelton Assoumou and Brownstone NYC to build modular homes in New York City in 2020.

Schelton Assoumou, the managing director of Brownstone NYC (“Brownstone”) is working on several Modular Projects in the Greater New York City Area (Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Westchester, etc.).

Brownstone is in the process of selecting one partner who specializes in building Modular Homes. Schelton and his team visited several modular home factories in Pennsylvania in December 2019. They were strengthened in the idea that modular homes construction are the wave of the future of the new construction industry in New York City; especially since the major historical barriers to entry in this valuable market are being resolved. Therefore, the cost savings of this prevalent building technology most United States markets will now be a viable option for construction in New York City.

In addition to specific New York City building codes constraints now being lifted, another issue to modular homes in New York City is the logistical challenge. Indeed, the homes are currently built in out of state factories and must to be transported to the site and installed with the crane, roads and overpasses make this little more difficult for New York city. In spite of all these challenges, Brownstone has concluded that Modular Home is a viable alternative to traditional Frame and Brick Houses. Brownstone projects up to five pilot projects completed before the end of 2020.

Modular Home

Modular buildings and modular homes are prefabricated buildings or houses that consist of repeated sections called modules. “Modular” is a construction method that involves constructing sections away from the building site, then delivering them to the intended site. Installation of the prefabricated sections is completed on site and it takes 3 to 4 days to assemble it on the site. Prefabricated sections are sometimes placed using a crane. The modules can be placed side-by-side, end-to-end, or stacked, allowing a variety of configurations and styles. After placement the modules are joined together using inter-module connections, also known as inter-connections. The inter-connections tie the individual modules together to form the overall building structure.

There are three main benefits to going modular over traditional in real estate:

1. Speed: The building process for the main shell module can be completed in a factory in just five to eight days, with the builder assembling and doing finishing work at the building site.
2. Cost: Modular home construction may cost less than a traditional home, because the new homes can be manufactured faster and requires less man-power.
3. Quality: A manufactured home may actually be of superior quality to a site-built home, primarily because the materials are built in a climate-controlled environment, not exposed to the elements, from cold to precipitation to humidity.

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Great Towers and Landmarks Worldwide Unite in Global Show of Support for Australia on Jan. 26

TORONTO (STL.News) – The CN Tower, fellow members of the World Federation of Great Towers, and landmarks around the world are uniting to raise awareness and show support for Australia as the country works to fight and recover from devastating wildfires.

On the night of Australia’s national holiday, January 26, the CN Tower will be among many landmarks to light in the country’s national colours of green and gold. Still others plan to join in the effort through social media and online. To date, towers and landmarks that have confirmed their participation include:

The Berlin TV Tower, Berlin, Germany
Busan Tower, Jung Gu, Busan, South Korea
The Calgary Tower, Calgary, Canada
The CN Tower, Toronto, Canada
The Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
The Empire State Building, New York, USA
Euromast, Rotterdam, Netherlands
La Grande Roue, Montréal, Canada
N Seoul Tower, Seoul, South Korea
Niagara Falls, Niagara Falls, Canada/USA
One Liberty, Philadelphia, USA
Pavillon Bonsecours, Montréal, Canada
The Reunion Tower, Dallas, USA
The Royal Liver Building, Liverpool, UK
The Shard, London, UK
SkyTower, Auckland, New Zealand
The Tokyo Tower, Tokyo, Japan
Toronto sign, Toronto, Canada
The Willis Tower, Chicago, USA
“Australia is facing some of the worst wildfires ever seen. The scale of the ongoing crisis and its impact on the environment, people and wildlife concerns all of us around the world,” says Peter George, the CN Tower’s Chief Operating Officer. “Under the circumstances, we felt a global show of support would be meaningful to many. Not only would it convey a powerful message of support to all Australians, especially those on the front lines, but it can hopefully inspire the world to take action.”

For anyone looking to take action, donations may be made to several organizations, including the Australian Red Cross (www.redcross.org.au/campaigns/disaster-relief-and-recovery-donate), the NSW Rural Fire Service (https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/volunteer/support-your-local-brigade), and WIRES Wildlife Rescue (https://www.wires.org.au/donate/emergency-fund).

About the CN Tower

At a height of 553.33 metres (1,815 ft., 5 inches), Canada’s National Tower is an engineering wonder, award-winning dining and entertainment destination, and has been Toronto’s “must-see” attraction for over four decades. The CN Tower was visited by more than 1.98 million people last year. For more information www.cntower.ca

About Canada Lands Company

Canada Lands Company is a self-financing federal Crown corporation that specializes in real estate development and attractions management. Since 1995, Canada Lands has enriched Canadian communities and experiences by embracing the full potential of the properties it owns and operates. Canada Lands is a leader in attractions management with its operations of the CN Tower and Downsview Park in Toronto, the Old Port of Montréal and the Montréal Science Centre. Canada Lands Company strives to enhance economic, social and environmental value for Canadians. It has delivered more than $1 billion in economic benefits to Canada since inception.
For more information www.clc.ca

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Iconic Four Seasons Restaurant Brand is For Sale

NEW YORK (STL.News) – Hilco Streambank, a leading intellectual property advisory firm specializing in the valuation and sale of intangible assets, is marketing for sale the Four Seasons restaurant brand and related intellectual property. Offers are due on February 25, 2020, although the seller will entertain offers received prior to that date.

The assets available for sale include the Four Seasons restaurant trademark, the Spa Cuisine trademark for prepared foods, and related intellectual property and social media assets.

Originally opened in 1959 as America’s first seasonal fine-dining restaurant, the Four Seasons restaurant paved the way for an era of elegant dining. The brand was pronounced “One of the Ten Restaurants that Changed America” in a book written by Yale historian Paul Freedman.

“Rarely does a restaurant brand evoking such sophistication and elegance as the Four Seasons restaurant come to market,” stated Hilco Streambank CEO, Gabe Fried. “Those who know New York City know the rich heritage of the Four Seasons restaurant brand and its impact on the culinary landscape in New York City and beyond. There are endless opportunities for a buyer to build upon the success of this iconic restaurant brand, including reopening restaurants in New York and in major markets throughout the United States.”

Parties interested in acquiring the Four Seasons restaurant intellectual property assets or learning more about the sale process should contact Hilco Streambank directly using the contact information provided below.

Jack Hazan

Executive Vice President



Richelle Kalnit

Senior Vice President



Ben Kaplan




About Hilco Streambank:

Hilco Streambank is a market leading advisory firm specializing in intellectual property disposition and valuation. Having completed numerous transactions including sales in publicly reported Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases, private transactions, and online sales through IPv4.Global, Hilco Streambank has established itself as the premier intermediary in the consumer brand, internet and telecom communities. Hilco Streambank is part of Northbrook, Illinois based Hilco Global, the world’s leading authority on maximizing the value of business assets by delivering valuation, monetization and advisory solutions to an international marketplace. Hilco Global operates more than twenty specialized business units offering services that include asset valuation and appraisal, retail and industrial inventory acquisition and disposition, real estate and strategic capital equity investments.

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NAR Commends White House Efforts to Spur Housing Construction, Protect Water Quality

WASHINGTON (STL.News) – NAR President Vince Malta issued the following statement after the Trump administration on Thursday unveiled its replacement of the Obama-era regulation known as “Waters of the U.S.” At an event in Las Vegas, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James said the new EPA rule will allow states to more efficiently manage local waterways while maintaining current environmental protections.

“As communities struggle with low inventory and a lack of affordable housing options, NAR has pushed for regulatory changes that will expedite permitting and spur construction throughout the U.S.,” said Malta, broker at Malta & Co., Inc., in San Francisco. “Realtors® commend the administration for striking an appropriate balance between prudent environmental protections and regulatory clarity, a move that does not reduce environmental protections of any waters but provides certainty to developers as the nation works to address our insufficient supply of housing.”

The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.4 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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