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The Economic Perspective 01/19/2024

The Latest Trending Economic, Environmental and Demographic News Curated for You By The Balmoral Group

The Balmoral Group provides practical, professional and precise Economics, Data Analytics, and Engineering Consulting services and is part of a globally integrated team.

Happy Friday!

In honor of MLK Day, the only federal holiday designated by Congress as a National Day of Service, several team members at the Balmoral Group participated in WTS Central Florida's MLK Day of Service event. The WTS volunteer group volunteered with the Salvation Army's Men’s Center in Downtown Orlando in collaboration with Bruce, a Salvation Army AR graduate and Head Chef to make sandwiches for the Parramore and Bithlo community. Collectively, over 1000 sandwiches were put together to be distributed the following day, contributing to the ongoing efforts to combat hunger and support those in need! Huge thanks to the WTS Central Florida Chapter for giving us the opportunity to help give back to our community!

This week on the Economic Perspective we have articles on the impact of non-broadcasted boats on the sea, the first uranium mine being opened in the U.S. in 8 years, Florida state economist's revenue projections, and more. Our data visualization shows a surprising decrease in jobless claims in the new year. 

We hope you enjoy the read and let us know what you think! Please feel free to forward this to anyone you think would be interested. If you’d like to view previous editions please click here, or to subscribe please click here!


New Research Reveals the Expanding Footprint of Human Activity at Sea

While not all boats are legally required to broadcast their position, vessels absent from public monitoring systems pose major challenges for protecting and managing natural resources. A new study analyzed 2 million GB of satellite imagery between 2017 and 2021 to detect vessels and offshore infrastructure in coastal waters across six continents. The results showed that about 75% of the world’s industrial fishing vessels and more than 25% of transport and energy vessels are not publicly tracked. Global Fishing Watch

New Research Reveals Bottom Trawling Emits Significant Carbon

A new study conducted by a team of experts from Utah State University, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the University of California Santa Barbara, Columbia University, James Cook University, and National Geographic finds that 55-60% the carbon dioxide produced when trawlers disturb marine sediments makes its way from the water into the atmosphere within nine years. Using ocean models and data from 1996-2020, researchers calculated how much carbon dioxide produced from heavy fishing nets dragged across the ocean floor enters the atmosphere. The study shows carbon emissions from bottom trawling especially high in the East China, Baltic and the North Sea areas. Read More.

First Uranium Mine in the U.S. in Eight Years

Recently, a Uranium mine will begin operations near the Grand Canyon. This marks the first U.S. Uranium mine to be dug in the last eight years. The strong push for nuclear energy from many countries, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have increased Uranium’s price in the world, causing intrigue for the popup of new mines to be started or for old ones to unretire. The biggest problem from this recent news is the environmental harm to the region from the physical mining of the ore. Ecosystem damage itself and harm to the surrounding water supply quality are two major threats to the region. Local tribes, environmentalists, and the public are attempting to push back causing tension in the community. Read the whole story here.

Florida Tech Study Reveals Factors Influencing Coral Reef Recovery Rates

A Florida Tech team conducted a three-year study on global coral reef recovery, examining both natural and human-induced factors. The research highlights the negative impact of climate change on coral reefs but emphasizes the importance of local interventions. Agriculture runoff, sewage, and fertilizer all contribute to macroalgae growth, posing a threat to coral. While global policies to reduce climate change are crucial, the study suggests that local efforts to manage water waste can protect reefs in the meantime. The research reveals variations in recovery rates across oceans, with some reefs recovering faster than others, emphasizing the differences in regional water quality. Conservation efforts prove beneficial, empowering local authorities to accelerate reef recovery. Read more here, and find the full study here.

State Economists Release Increased Revenue Projections

This week, state economists reported that state general revenue projections are expected to increase by about $2.18 billion for the 2024-25 fiscal year. Over $700 million of this revenue increase, however, is already accounted for by things like disaster relief funding and home-hardening programs. The state economists reported confidence in recent economic activity, the primary driver of which has been sales-tax collections, up 4.1% over projections. This was followed by increases in corporate income taxes, earnings on investments, and insurance premium taxes. The good news for sales tax increases, however, is cause for some concern as it reflects higher prices caused by inflation, resulting in consumers using more credit. Read more here.

Data Visualization of the Week

Weekly Jobless Claims Post Lowest Since September 2022

The early days of 2024 have seen a drop in jobless claims down to the lowest they have been since September 24th, 2022. Continuing claims have also declined below FactSet estimates. This has been below initial estimates from the Dow Jones and has happened despite efforts by the Federal Reserve to slow the economy in the midst of high inflation. The manufacturing index registered a reading of -10.6, which represents the difference between companies reporting growth against contraction. While the number improved from -12.8 in December, it is still below the Dow Jones estimate of -7. Read More.


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