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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

August 15, 2014 at 10:52 AM

The economics of Ferguson

While the world is watching Ferguson, Mo., it is useful to examine how this inner-ring suburb is emblematic of many unfortunate economic trends in America. In 2010, the town was more than 67 percent African-American, a demographic particularly hit hard not only by the Great Recession but by disruptions with a longer arc. The homeownership rate…

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Comments | More in Income/living standards, Inequality | Topics: Ferguson, Mo.

August 11, 2014 at 10:28 AM

A closer look at Washington exports

If you go to the federal government’s TradeStats Express site, it provides a wealth of data on state exports going back to 1999. It shows, for example, that Washington’s merchandise exports have increased 130 percent from 2003 through 2013. The drawback is that these are nominal dollars not adjusted for inflation. Chaining the numbers to…

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August 7, 2014 at 10:28 AM

Washington’s strong ‘consumer’ economy

The federal Bureau of Economic Analysis today released its first deep dig into state-by-state personal consumption expenditures going back to 1997. Washington turns in the strong performance one would expect from a prosperous state with a diverse economy. For example, per-capita expenditures here grew 3.6 percent from 2011 to 2012 vs. the national average of…

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Comments | More in Consumer spending, Pacific Northwest economy

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