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, everyone!
And happy Independence Day weekend! As we celebrate our nation this upcoming week, travel is expected to be at all-time highs. Over 50 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home. After seeing gas prices having dropped over $1 per gallon since this time last year, the majority of them will be driving, with over 43 million people taking cars to their destinations. Read more about the expected travel volumes here and stay safe this weekend!
Furthermore, in this week's edition of the Economic Perspective we have some great articles about railway development, electric vehicles, A.I. in sports, and more! Check it out!
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!
Railroads Move to Create More Access between Mexico, Texas, US Southwest
Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC), CSX and Genesee & Wyoming railroads reached an agreement to establish a direct CPKC-CSX interchange connection in Alabama. CPKC and CSX would each acquire or operate portions of the 168-mile Meridian & Bigbee Railroad to establish a new freight corridor that connects Mexico, Texas and the U.S. Southeast. Parts of the deal need approval from the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, but it would provide shippers with rail access to new markets. FreightWaves
Risks Remain for Deep Sea Explorers
Over 110 years after the Titanic found its final resting place on the bottom of the Atlantic, the ocean remains a treacherous place. In light of the recent tragedy of the five-person submersible to the wreckage site, the BBC recently investigated what this region currently looks like. On the surface, in 2019 alone there were 1,515 icebergs drifting far enough south to enter transatlantic shipping lanes during the months of March to August. Additionally, the deep ocean is unable to penetrate light past 3,300 ft from the surface. Navigating at this depth is a challenging task, made possible through sonar technology and illuminating lights from a submersible, which extend just a few meters. On the seabed 12,500ft underwater, the Titanic and everything around it endures pressure of around 40MPa, which is 390 times greater than those on the surface. Additionally, similar to the surface current, the deep ocean is scoured by underwater currents caused by winds, temperature, salinity, and even benthic storms. And lastly, sediment flows caused by seismic events can cause instability on the ocean floor. These incredible challenges highlight the risks still involved in deep sea expeditions. Read more.
Tesla Superchargers Will Soon Work with Ford and GM EVs
Ford and GM have announced partnerships with Tesla to allow customers to charge EVs at Tesla superchargers. Beginning in early 2024 vehicles will have access to adapters to be able to use Tesla superchargers. This will add thousands of chargers to Ford and GM network and will allow them to add built in adapters in the future to these chargers. Additionally, this partnership will potentially work toward a standardized North American charging port for all EVs, something that will significantly increase range and coverage for all EVs. Read More.
A.I. Coming to Sports Commentary
If you’re a fan of tennis, you will be excited, yet curious, to hear that Artificial Intelligence is coming to this year’s Wimbledon Tournament as commentary. IBM’s A.I. platform watsonx has been trained to learn specialized tennis vocabulary and has been given permission by the All England Club to access player statistics. This tech will be used for captions on highlight reels online and potentially used for commentary on live air for originally non-commentated covered matches. IBM sees A.I. as not a replacement of live commentary, but more so as an enhancement. With ATP line judges being fully replaced by 2025 with technology, it is interesting to follow what A.I. continues to do in tennis, but sports in general. Read more here.
Bee-Eater Birds Return to the United Kingdom
Bee-eater birds have made a monumental return to the United Kingdom. Bee-eaters successfully hatched chicks in Norfolk last summer, and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) recently spotted more bee-eaters near Cramer, the first time the birds returned to the UK in consecutive years. Bee-eaters are typically in northern Africa and the Southern Mediterranean but have pushed northward due to temperature increases. Read more here.
Data Visualization of the Week
Goods and Services Trade Deficits Increase, but Still Show Progress
On June 7th the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced that the goods and services deficit in April had increased $14 billion from $60.6 billion in March to $74.6 billion. Exports in April totaled $249 billion while imports were $323.6 billion. However, the April 2023 deficit is roughly $20 billion lower than April 2022. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis releases monthly trade data here.