Economic Pulse with Dr. Kamran Afshar

Fridays at 5:44pm, Mondays at 7:35am

Economic Pulse with Dr. Kamran Afshar is a synopsis of the week's economic news, with a detailed look at trends in the Lehigh Valley, and important issues to watch in the coming week.

In this special hour-long edition of Economic Pulse, Dr. Kamran Afshar welcomes members of the business community for a roundtable discussion on the results of the quarterly economic review of Lehigh Valley businesses.

(Original air-date: 5/7/2015)

A Drop in the Unemployment Rate on Economic Pulse

Aug 29, 2014

PA Department of Labor and Industry reported a significant drop in the unemployment rate, falling from 7.7% in July 2013 to 5.9% in July 2014. But let’s look at the calculations; there were 2,500 new jobs created in the last 12 months which is ok, and if this was all, unemployment rate would have dropped to only 6.7%. Then how did we moved down to 5.9%, where did the other 0.8% come from?

(Original air-date 8/29/2014)

Exploring the Return of Inflation on Economic Pulse

Aug 22, 2014

Inflation is back, although we have not completely felt it  yet. Inflation over the 12 months was 2%, inflation rate in 2014 is 2.4% and  in the last 3 months this rate has increased to 2.8%. Actual inflation is accelerating. (Original air-date 8/22/2014)

Dr. Kamran Afshar hosts a special, one-hour Quarterly Economic Review on Economic Pulse. Dr. Afshar discusses the economic state of the Lehigh Valley with guests:

• Dave Kepler (Executive Vice President of Univest Corporation)
• Ed Meehan (Executive Director of the Rider Pool Foundation)
• Thomas Demshock (Owner of Fishburn Realty Co.)
• Bill Kreitz ( President of Hampson Mowrer Kreitz Insurance)

(Original air-date 8/7/2014)

Lehigh Valley's Housing Market on Economic Pulse

Jul 26, 2014
Express-Times

This week on Economic Pulse, host Dr. Kamran Afshar looks at the June data for the Lehigh Valley housing market. While there is potential price strength for the local housing market, there is also low volume and other indicators that predict a decent, but not great summer.

(Original air-date 7/25/2014)

The Manufacturing Industry's Decline on Economic Pulse

Jul 11, 2014

What happened to manufacturing? Are we producing anything anymore?

Employment in manufacturing has dropped from 18 million in 1972 to 12 million in 2010, however, the fewer manufacturing employees are producing a lot more products than their significantly larger manufacturing employees did in 1970s.

(Original air-date 7/11/2014)

June consumer sentiment index recorded a slight increase over its May’s level. The index has been relatively unchanged in the last 6 months, this is remarkable considering the size of the GDP drop in the 1st quarter. Consumers clearly considered this a one time events.

(Original air-date 7/4/2014)

Nationwide Drop in GDP on Economic Pulse

Jun 27, 2014

The nation’s real Gross Domestic Product or GDP dropped  by a surprisingly large 2.9% during the 1st quarter of 2014, last winter was a lot worse than we thought.

(Original air-date 6/27/2014)

The Lehigh Valley’s employment level has now exceeded its pre-recessionary high. However, not all the jobs lost have been recovered.  Recoveries in the job market are seldom even across the sectors. Usually the new jobs are somewhat or a lot different from the ones lost. The same is true about the Lehigh Valley’s recovery. Many of the jobs lost are not going to come back. The Valley is moving in the direction of services and away form production.

The Unemployment Rate explained on Economic Pulse

Jun 24, 2014

Payroll employment increased by whopping 217,000 in May. Despite that, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.3%. The unemployment rate stayed the same despite the 217,000 new additions to payroll employment because the total number of unemployed increased by 46,000. How did that happen? This is basically a function of the definition of employment. The government’s definition of employed is very broad and appears to have been designed to underestimate the total unemployment.

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