Registered Rep. Readers Do It By The Numbers

Smart decisions are based on more than government statistics, agency reports, news releases, interest rates and stock quotes. We've selected a few fascinating statistics below that illuminate the markets, the world of financial services and big business: Record-setting price of gold on January 2, 2008: $859 per ounce Change in commodity price of gold in 2007: +30 percent Change in commodity price

Smart decisions are based on more than government statistics, agency reports, news releases, interest rates and stock quotes. We've selected a few fascinating statistics below that illuminate the markets, the world of financial services and big business:

  1. Record-setting price of gold on January 2, 2008: $859 per ounce
  2. Change in commodity price of gold in 2007: +30 percent
  3. Change in commodity price of corn in 2007: +122 percent
  4. Average income of workers in Great Britain in 2007, higher than that of U.S. workers for the first time: $46,380
  5. Increase in McDonald's global 2007 sales, boosted in part by Europeans buying more hamburgers and chicken sandwiches: 8.2 percent
  6. Number of consecutive months that McDonald's sales have increased, the company's longest such streak in 27 years: 55
  7. Estimated value of sovereign wealth funds in Abu Dhabi: $875 billion
  8. Sum of all U.S. foreign aid and foreign direct investment in 2006: $271 billion
  9. Remittances sent by people working in the U.S. to their home countries in 2006: $301 billion
  10. Amount of waste generated by the average pigeon per year: 25 pounds
  11. Proposed fine for feeding pigeons in New York City, a practice outlawed in London's Trafalgar Square: $1,000
  12. Number of private-college presidents earning more than $500,000 per year in 2007: 81
  13. Number earning that much in 1997: 3
  14. Of 17 developed countries for which the data are available, the number where more women are graduating from college than men: 15
  15. Percentage gain of the Canadian dollar against the U.S. dollar in 2007: 18
  16. Increment in compensation due to “height bias” between typical 6-foot employees and 5-foot-5-inch employees: $5,525
  17. From 1962 to 2007, the percentage of months the U.S. economy has spent in recession: 12.9
  18. Projected increase between 2002 and 2012 in the number of workers 55 or older who will be part of the labor force: 49 percent
  19. Projected increase in the number of workers 16-24 years of age over that same period: 9 percent
  20. Number of gallons of gasoline UPS saved in 2007 by deploying delivery routing software that minimizes the number of left-hand turns its drivers make: 3 million
  21. Number of credit-card disputes in California resolved since 2003 by Minneapolis-based National Arbitration Forum: 193,300
  22. Percentage of disputes resolved in favor of the consumer: 6
  23. Number of the world's five most valuable companies that were Chinese in 2007, up from zero in 2006: 3
  24. Number of Americans age 80 and over in 2006 (9.2 million), expressed as a percentage of the world's total: 13.1
  25. The only nation with a larger population of seniors over 80 than the U.S., at 16.8 percent of the world's total: China

Sources: 1-3 Bloomberg Financial Markets; 4-6 Time; 7 Peterson Institute for International Economics; 8-9 Inter-American Development Bank, Organization for Economic Cooperation; 10-11 New Yorker; 12-13 Chronicle of Higher Education; 14 The Logic of Life by Tim Harford; 15 Bloomberg Financial Markets; 16 Prof. Greg Mankiw, Harvard University; 17 Economic Cycle Research Institute; 18-19 Voice of Business on the Mature Workforce: A Summary Report of the Pre-White House Conference on Aging Event; 20 UPS; 21-22 Public Citizen, Washington, DC; 23 Bloomberg News; 24-25 NY Times.

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