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The Economic Perspective 4/7/2023

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.


Every year, April is when Earth month takes place with different types of activities to raise awareness on issues that impact our planet. For example, EarthDay.org has listed 52 ways anyone can contribute. Additionally, this weekend millions of people around the world celebrate Easter, so this week we have a data visualization of the annual survey the National Retail Federation shared on how Americans plan to spend the holiday.


This week we also have articles on coastal areas around the world, OPEC+ crude production adjustments, offshore aquaculture, and more.


Enjoy the read and feedback is always appreciated! 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! Have a great weekend!

Coastal Land Expansion

While increasing sea levels threaten some coastal infrastructure, there have actually been substantial new coastal areas added around the world. Since 2000, about 900 square miles of new coastal areas were added near major cities. These are mostly for ports and high-end residential areas, and the biggest increases have been in China, UAE, and South Korea. China has added the most by a larger margin, and Long Beach, CA is the only major land area increase in the US since 2000. In some areas where coastal lands were added, the ecological impacts have been major: typically, this means coastal wetland losses. At a time when many areas are concerned with coastal resilience, there are still nations adding to their coastlines. Read more.


Washington Gears up with Electric Trucks

Thanks to the EPA, more manufacturers in Washington, and other states that follow California's advanced clean truck standards, are being incentivized to transition medium- and heavy-duty trucks from diesel power to zero-emissions technology. This new program requires truck manufacturers to sell and register an increasing percentage of new, zero-emission alternatives to diesel, starting with model year 2025. In 2025, truck manufactures will start at 7% of zero-emission Class 7-8 Tractors. This will continue to increase until 2035, when 40% of new Class 7-8 Tractors sold will need to be zero-emission. The program has compliance standards in place, rewarding sellers of zero-emission trucks with credits, which can be banked and traded, and imposing penalties on sellers who don't meet the requirements. Washington Dept of Ecology.


OPEC+ Announces Production Cuts

A new During the April Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee, the OPEC+ alliance agreed to cut production by an additional 1.66 million bpd. The decision was made as a precautionary measure to weaker outlook for demand and help support prices that have been declining since late 2022. The production adjustments will start in May and will go through the end of 2023. Reuters.


Walmart will Add Thousands of EV Charging Locations to Stores by 2030Gov. Walmart announced Thursday it plans to add electric vehicle charging stations to thousands of U.S. stores by 2030. Currently, only 280 stores have chargers with 1,300 stations in operation. Walmart has stated they are currently looking for suppliers and will own the charging stations on each location. With on average 4 charging stations at each participating Walmart and 90% of Americans living within 10 miles of a Walmart or Sam’s Club, this will be a greater incentive for people to buy EVs. Read More.

Water Supply Outlook Report Details Record-Breaking Winter Season in Utah

The Report released this week reported a statewide snow water equivalent (SWE) measure at 200% of normal levels as of April 1, which is much higher than the normal SWE measure of 75% that is typical this time of year. Their SWE has broken all previous snowpack records, and all of Utah’s major watersheds were above 130% of normal precipitation in early April, with four at record-high levels. These are all welcome signs given the past several years of historic drought in the state. Read more here.


First Offshore Fish Farm Proposed for Waters Off New England

The Report released this week reported a statewide snow water equivalent (SWE) measure at 200% of normal levels as of April 1, which is much higher than the normal SWE measure of 75% that is typical this time of year. Their SWE has broken all previous snowpack records, and all of Utah’s major watersheds were above 130% of normal precipitation in early April, with four at record-high levels. These are all welcome signs given the past several years of historic drought in the state. Read more here.


Data Visualization of the Week Easter Spending Expected to Reach Record $24 Billion

In this year’s National Retail Federation Easter survey, it is expected that total spending for the holiday will reach a new high ($24 billion), with households spending, on average, $192. The main items they are planning to purchase are candy, gifts and food. As far as activities, the most popular is cooking a holiday meal, followed by visiting family and friends, going to church and planning an Easter egg hunt. You can check more statistics about the holiday here.



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