The Consumer Price Index is used to calculate inflation, or the change in price of a basket of goods and services, as it impacts consumers; whereas, the Producer Price Index measures changes in selling prices, thereby expressing price changes from the perspective of the seller who produces a particular commodity.
A slide presentation updated with January 2017 data shows the Midwest inflation rate increased from December to January. While the urban metropolitan areas noticed a 0.64% increase, the non-metropolitan urban areas saw a slightly smaller increase of 0.54%.
The Producer Price Index data shows that prices in the United States have increased from January 2016 to January 2017 for aircraft (1.1 percent), crude petroleum (80.9 percent), and natural gas (93.2 percent). During that same time period, the index decreased slaughter livestock (-9.4 percent), sorghum (-8.6 percent) and wheat (-11.3 percent).
Of counties with liquor store establishments in Kansas, the median county had a peer sales ratio of 89 percent, and 56 of those counties had a peer sales ratio less than 100 percent.
The U.S. Census Bureau has published their population projections for the entire United States from 2015 to 2060 , and they project that the United States population will grow from 321.4 million to 416.8 million in that period. This represents 29.6 percent growth for the U.S. population, which is projected to expand more rapidly than the Kansas population.
Both the Kansas and the U.S. populations are projected to have positive growth rates throughout this period, with growth generally slowing over much of this period as well.
There was an average of 13,602 unemployed people in the Wichita metropolitan area in the fourth quarter of 2016, approximately 50 percent of whom collected unemployment insurance benefits. In the fourth quarter of 2016, there were approximately 6,811 people, age 16 and over, who collected unemployment insurance benefits. That is an increase of approximately five percent from the third quarter of 2016.
In the fourth quarter of 2016, four industries accounted for 64.2 percent of unemployment insurance beneficiaries in the Wichita area; construction, manufacturing, administrative and support and waste management and remediation services, and wholesale trade. Of these four high unemployment industries, only manufacturing currently has a proportionately low level of unemployment insurance beneficiaries, when compared to total employment.
The unemployment rate for Kansas, as a whole, remained constant from November 2016 to December 2016. The Wichita and Topeka MSAs saw an increase in unemployment by 0.1 and 0.2 percentage points respectively. The unemployment rate in Manhattan decreased slightly by 0.1 percentage points, while Lawrence remained constant.
A slide presentation is available with additional employment and unemployment data for Kansas and its four metro areas.
From October to November, the WSU Current Conditions Index increased by 0.4 percent. The Current Conditions Index increased year-to-year by 0.9 percent from October 2015 to November 2016. In addition, the Leading Index is forecasting a 0.07 percent increase in economic activity over the next six months.
In the last decade, as the chart indicates, general aviation shipments manufactured in the Wichita metropolitan area averaged 25.3 percent of the overall U.S. general aviation shipments. Although Wichita’s aircraft manufacturing industry experienced a significant downturn during the most recent recession, losing 13,400 aerospace product and parts manufacturing (APPM) employees, the percentage of U.S. general aviation shipments delivered from Wichita has continued to be higher than pre-recession levels.
The Council for Community and Economic Research released the third quarter Cost of Living Index for 261 urban areas. Wichita’s overall Index value was nearly 9 percent below the national average of 100. The most expensive urban area in which to live was New York (Manhattan), N.Y., with an Index value more than twice that of the national average. The least expensive urban area was McAllen, Texas, which was more than 23 percent below the national average.
To subscribe to the Cost of Living Index report, or to learn more about The Council for Community and Economic Research, visit their website.
Between the second and third quarters of 2016, the general level of misery experienced by people in the United States increased, but remains below the 2015 level. This can be attributed to an increase in the unemployment rate, low levels of inflation and a decrease in housing prices. The level of misery in Kansas also increased between the second and third quarters and is somewhat above the 2015 level.
Within each of the metropolitan areas in Kansas, the level of misery is mixed.
The Misery Index, as calculated by the Center for Economic Development and Business Research (CEDBR), includes the following components:
The Center for Economic Development and Business Research completed an economic impact study of health care and related industries in the Wichita metropolitan area. The study, prepared for and released by the Medical Society of Sedgwick County (MSSC), lists the healthcare and social assistance industry as second among the area’s top five industries.