Buried beneath headlines the past few months about the “fiscal cliff” and sequestration was at least one nugget of positive information for the U.S. economy: Foreclosure starts declined in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Home mortgage foreclosure rates have been a key indicator in the U.S. economic recovery. Foreclosures hit a five-year low in October, according to Lender Processing Services and HOPE NOW. In December, 3.4% of mortgaged homes were in foreclosure, down from 4.2% in December 2011. Rates in each state vary according to local economic conditions.
States with the highest percentages of homes in foreclosure are in the Northeast, Northwest and Florida. In December, Florida had the nation’s highest rate of homes in foreclosure at 11.6%. In December, Florida’s unemployment rate was 7.9%, just above the U.S. rate of 7.8%.
States with the lowest percentages of homes in foreclosure are in the Plains States. At 0.5%, Wyoming had the lowest rate of homes in foreclosure in December; the unemployment rate was 4.9%. (read more…)
The demographics of the U.S. population are changing dramatically. We are becoming a much more diverse society due to the growth of minority populations and immigration. Illegal immigration is a hot topic, generating strong feelings on both sides of the issue. The Office of Immigration estimates that 11 million illegal immigrants are living in the U.S. today; 3 million arrived in the past 10 years. Congress and President Barack Obama plan to introduce legislation to change the status of immigrants who are currently in the U.S. illegally. It is clear that immigration — regardless of status — is changing the demographic makeup of the U.S. population.
Where do the minority populations live? Do their locations vary by the minority racial or ethnic type?
According to Esri, a geographic information systems company, in 2012, 115.8 million people in the U.S. identify themselves as a minority race or ethnicity. This includes 52.8 million Hispanics, 39.5 million blacks, and 15.2 million Asians as well as other races which includes American Indian and Pacific Islanders. (read more…)
Now that the holidays are over, the stress of higher credit card charges arrives with the bills. NerdWallet estimates that the average U.S. household had $14,478.78 in credit card debt in 2012 and that 46.7% of U.S. households carry credit card debt. According to CreditCards.com, 2.93% of consumers are delinquent on their credit cards. Credit card usage has dropped in recent years as some consumers are concerned about developing debt they cannot pay. Who carries debt and what credit cards they use varies across consumer types.
This article explores the types of consumers who charge a lot on their credit cards each month versus those who don’t. Also, it compares the types of consumers who carry American Express and Discover cards.
Credit card debt
Americans hold more than 600 million credit cards, according to CreditCards.com. This averages out to 3.5 cards per person. Many consumers use their cards quite avidly, charging everyday purchases such as food and gas. (read more…)
Online shopping grows larger and larger each year. Forrester Research predicts that 167 million consumers in the U.S. will spend $226 billion online in 2012. Consumers shopped online in full force on Black Friday in 2012. ComScore reports that Americans spent $1.04 billion to kick off their holiday shopping. What type of consumer is most likely to shop online and where do they live?
The online shopper
Buying everything from books to computers to even groceries from online retail stores has become more and more common since the ability emerged in the 1990s. While people from all sorts of backgrounds from across the country will shop online, some people are much more likely than others to buy online.
Esri, the world’s leader in geographic information systems, provides Market Potential data that includes a Market Potential Index. The index measures the probability that adults or households in a specific area will exhibit certain consumer behaviors compared to the U.S. (read more…)
Geographic information system technology is not only changing the way consumers eat and shop but also revolutionizing how they conduct banking. SmartBrief recently sat down Simon Thompson, director of commercial solutions for Esri, to discuss how banks are starting to leverage GIS data to enhance products and services for “the connected customer.”
How is location information revolutionizing the consumer banking sector?
Everybody has a different definition of what “big data” is … But if you make the assumption that 80% of all data is spatial, then what we are talking about is bigger data. If you look at the information that banks want to process, it is almost 100% location-driven. It’s all those shopping transactions and searches, all those social media interactions and Tweets. Banks are asking where do my customers live, what do they want and what can I do to find them and serve them better?
How is all this “Bigger Data” being put to use? (read more…)