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May 12, 2008

NEWS: Gas May Finally Cost Too Much

Highway traffic is falling as pump prices climb. Are Americans rethinking their auto addiction?



Acme Illustrators

For 20 years now, county workers in Palm Beach County, Fla., have been counting cars with sensors at strategic points along its 4,000 miles of roads. Nearly every year traffic volume has climbed at least 2%. But in 2007 there was a slight decline in the number of vehicles on the roads. This year traffic is down 7.5% through March. "We're seeing a very significant change," says county engineer George Webb. "We're having a good time speculating why." ...

Ed: Muddled economics. BW says 'gasoline use tends to dip during recessions'. 

Drastic increases in oil prices cause economic dislocations that lead to recessions. High oil prices and lower incomes lead to lower gasoline consumption.

MAY 7, 2008

USA Productivity Shows Resilience

Ed: It's official - no recession. Productivity is GNP (Gross National Output) divided by labor costs. How does higher prices and lower wages translate into growth?

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