Perspectives Blog

Garbage in, less garbage out

Paul DiGiacomo, Senior Analyst | May 9, 2013

…paralleled ability to produce garbage in the United States. Since 1980, per capita waste generation has increased 21% to over four pounds per day. While that statistic is alarming, our recycling rate has advanced even faster: materials reuse has grown from 10% to 34% of the waste stream. Also, utilities burn 12% of the tonnage to produce electricity, leaving just 54% for the landfill.* Don Slager, CEO of Republic Services, terms this change “The…

Hanging in

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | September 20, 2013

…ly an indication that consumers have become more cautious about spending with interest rates leaping higher. Generally, spending trends remain in place with only some modest deceleration. Core retail sales (ex-autos, building materials and gas station sales) serves as a proxy for personal consumption in GDP, and this rose a puny 0.2% in August, the smallest gain in ten months and well below the usual 0.4% gain typically seen. In the last year, th…

Gimme credit

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | August 22, 2013

…month. The proxy for Personal Consumption Expenditures (in GDP) rose 0.5%—decent, but revisions to prior months were downward. A bit more worrisome were the very weak results from housing-related spending (furniture, building materials, appliances), likely related to the softer housing activity seen recently and probably in response to the spike in interest rates seen in the second quarter. Some discretionary categories did well (restaurants, clo…