In 2013, U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP), at $16.8 trillion, was nearly twice China’s $9 trillion, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). But when adjusting for Purchasing Power Parity, which is estimated to reflect the “real cost of living” across countries, China’s economy is projected to surpass the United States’ later this year, says the International Comparison Program (ICP). Is this realistic?
A new power boom from a seemingly unlikely source is taking hold across the globe. As greater oil and natural gas production output capture headlines, global hydroelectric power generation is expanding at an historic rate. Spurring this growth is the World Bank which has committed funds to dozens of global hydro projects in Africa, South Asia, and South East Asia, according to the Washington Post.
The summer driving season is still weeks away, but rising U.S. gas prices are already back in the news. Recently, the average price for regular gasoline at U.S. gas stations hit $3.6918 a gallon — the highest since March 22, 2013 and up 43 cents this year. Much of this price depends on global supply and demand, but certainly not all of it.
In the decade following the horrors of World War I, peace was celebrated at every opportunity. The supporters of a bridge connecting Buffalo and Fort Erie, Ontario, seized upon that tide and in 1927 the Peace Bridge was born. Today it is operated by the Public Bridge Authority. It is ironic that a bridge passionately dedicated to peace has in recent years ignited a war between those who see it as an engine of commerce driving perhaps the largest sector of our economy and others who see it as a threat to the health of those living nearby.
In the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations, many nations expressed shock and dismay over the mass surveillance of their citizens and governments. In turn, on March 12 the European Union (EU) Parliament passed a resolution and new law relating to data privacy. This will have profound implications for every U.S. tech company, as well as anyone who uses the internet.
The key question facing policymakers in 2014 will be how to energize the economy and lower the rate of unemployment while avoiding another financial crisis caused by asset price inflation and a misallocation of credit. The Fed seems concerned with deflation, but the real risk is that the Fed’s bloated balance sheet, and the extraordinary run-up in the monetary base during the last five years, will begin to show up in inflationary increases in the monetary aggregates.
President Obama has made it clear that he is no advocate of fossil fuels. He has gone to war against coal and refuses to allow drilling on most federal lands for oil. Despite this lack of support, the United States actually has a surplus of crude oil and natural gas. Domestic production is way up to the point where gas prices at the pump have started to come down. There’s even talk of exporting gas and oil, something that has been restricted since the 1973 OPEC embargo.
If there is one thing that site selection consultants agree on, it’s that no two projects are the same. While the process of analyzing locations and selecting sites is the same across most projects, each client has specific requirements that are reflected in the choice and weighting of the criteria used to evaluate locations for their particular facility.
Portugal’s Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho’s coalition government continues to hold together despite tensions generated by the negative impact of austerity-fatigue on popular support for both the prime minister’s PSD and its junior partner, the CDS-PP. The partner’s resolve has been reinforced by signs of economic improvement, including a revival of tourism and exports that have contributed to a downward trend in unemployment and helped keep the deficit-reduction and debt-consolidation programs on track.
The United States is experiencing an energy revolution that is having a tremendous impact on business. Moving forward, this is projected to boost corporate competitiveness, manufacturing output, employment, and exports, as well as household income. And this new “gold rush” is catapulting new American energy to the top of global charts, while continuing to reduce American dependence on foreign energy sources.
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