Noted for July 31, 2013

Jared Bernstein: A Spurned Offer on Corporate Taxes | Jérémie Cohen-Setton: A Guide to Survive Math Camp | randomsubu can haz tumblr!: Peter Orszag: "Howard Dean seems to think that Congress will be perfectly able to fine-tune Medicare’s shift away from fee-for-service payment, despite there being nothing in its 50-year record of legislating on Medicare to support such a belief" | Giorgio Riello: Cotton: The Fabric that Made the Modern World | Cory Doctorow: At 120 degrees, it was so hot in Australia that Koalas were asking people for water, something that's never been seen before | Margaret Sullivan: In Interviewing the President, Why Didn't The Times Ask About Surveillance? But with national security and surveillance issues such hot topics, how could it be that the reporters Jackie Calmes and Michael Shear did not broach these with the president? | Joe Mullin: Sounding the alarm: Ars speaks with vocal NSA critic Sen. Ron Wyden | Noah Smith: Book Review: The Quants | Greg Sargent: Larry Summers will face opposition from some Democrats | Lawrence Summers (2011): To fix the economy, fix the housing market | James Fallows: A False Equivalence Classic | Neil Irwin: We should be horrified at 1.7 percent GDP growth | Zack Beauchamp: The Contradiction At The Heart Of The Latest Movement To Save The GOP | Ron Wyden: Stopping the "Ever-Expanding Surveillance State" | John Cassidy: Where Larry Summers Went Wrong | Mark Pauly: The Unanticipated Consequences of Postponing the Employer Mandate |

Thursday: Vehicle Sales, Unemployment Claims, ISM Mfg Index, Construction Spending

Restaurant spending is discretionary, so even though this is "D-list" data, I like to check it every month.

From the National Restaurant Association: Despite June Decline, Restaurant Performance Index Remains Steadily Positive
As a result of positive sales and traffic and an optimistic outlook among restaurant operators, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) remained in expansion territory in June. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 101.3 in June, down 0.5 percent from May’s level of 101.8. Despite the decline, June represented the fourth consecutive month that the RPI exceeded the 100 level, which signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators.

“Although the overall RPI dipped somewhat in June, it remained in positive territory as restaurant operators continued to report gains in both sales and customer traffic,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association. “Looking forward, restaurant operators remain generally optimistic about the business environment in the months ahead, with the Expectations Index holding steady at a 12-month high.”
Restaurant Performance Index Click on graph for larger image.

The index decreased to 101.3 in June from 101.8 in May. (above 100 indicates expansion).

Thursday:
• At 8:30 AM ET, the initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The consensus is for an increase to 345 thousand from 343 thousand last week.

• All day: Light vehicle sales for July. The consensus is for light vehicle sales to decrease to 15.8 million SAAR in July (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate) from 15.9 million SAAR in June.

• At 9:00 AM, The Markit US PMI Manufacturing Index for July. The consensus is for the index to increase to 53.1 from 51.9 in June.

• At 10:00 AM, the ISM Manufacturing Index for July. The consensus is for an increase to 53.1 from 50.9 in June. Based on the regional surveys, an increase in July seems likely. The ISM manufacturing index indicated expansion in June at 50.9%. The employment index was at 48.7%, and the new orders index was at 51.9%.

• Also at 10:00 AM, Construction Spending for June. The consensus is for a 0.4% increase in construction spending.

Huge Patent Potential With Spherix

With patent stocks being all the rage in 2012, the recent deal for Spherix (SPEX) to purchase a bunch of patents created by the Harris Corporation has basically gone unnoticed. Possibly because the company was mostly unknown prior to this pending deal or possibly the leading patent stocks of VirnetX Holding (VHC) and Vringo (VRNG) have struggled this year thereby lessening investor appetite

Laura Tyson: Game Changers for Growth: Noted for July 31, 2013

Laura Tyson: Game Changers for Growth:

There are often-overlooked reasons for optimism about America’s future potential growth… shale energy, big-data analytics, exports in knowledge-intensive industries, infrastructure investment, and talent development. Two of these--shale energy and big-data analytics--build on ongoing technological breakthroughs in which the US has a strong lead and depend primarily on private-sector action, not macroeconomic or structural policies….

McKinsey estimates that growth in shale energy could add 2-4% to annual GDP and create up to 1.7 million jobs by 2020. But extracting shale energy involves environmental risks and uncertainties, among them groundwater contamination, higher methane emissions, and potential seismic effects. And shale gas emits CO2… even though it has half the carbon content of coal….

Big data and advanced analytics are another technology-driven game changer for US growth. As more data are generated, stored, and transmitted in digital form, new data sets relevant to personal and business decisions are growing exponentially… can be quickly analyzed and used by businesses to reduce costs, boost productivity, and create new products and services…. create value for consumers through greater product variety and quality, as well as enhanced convenience…. McKinsey estimates that big-data analytics could add about $325 billion, or 1.7% to annual GDP in the retail and manufacturing sectors, while generating up to $285 billion in productivity gains and cost savings in health care and government by 2020….

New information and communications technologies were game changers that boosted the potential growth rate of the US economy in the 1990’s… shale energy and big-data technologies will be game changers with similar benefits for the economy’s potential growth over the next several years.

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