The Year in Numbers

12.06.2023
In true 2023 fashion, this image was created by AI with Adobe Firefly.

As we count down the days to 2024, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on 2023 defined by some interesting numbers that tell the tale of a unique year.

33,888,140,000,000 – The U.S. National Debt in dollars as of December 4th.  The Federal debt to GDP ratio now stands at 122%.  That represents $100,840 per U.S. citizen.[1]

1,080,000,000,000 – The total amount in dollars of credit card debt owed by Americans.  This number topped $1 trillion for the first time after rising $45 billion in the second quarter and $48 billion in the third quarter.[2]  Although revolving debt as a dollar amount is high, and current rates are more punishing than we have seen in decades, at 6.3% of disposable income, revolving debt is below the 6.6% 2012 – 2019 average.[3]  Couple this with the fact that most mortgage holders were able to lock in low mortgage rates over the last several years, and consumers may not yet be tapped out.

122,000,000,000 – The dollar amount that retailers expect to lose to theft in 2023.[4] Target Corporation cited theft and organized crime as the reason it closed nine stores in major cities in 2023.  Some retailers have responded to growing theft by placing merchandise behind locked plexiglass doors while others have simply exited certain areas.

4,100,000,000 – The dollar amount Taylor Swift will make on her Eras Tour. This tour will cross five continents and see the star earning the most from any single tour in music history.[5]

636,193,161 – The dollar amount that Barbie grossed domestically at the box office year-to-date according to Box Office Mojo, edging out The Super Mario Brothers Movie’s $575MM.[6]

419,110,000 – The current dollar value of Bitcoin a Florida man paid in 2010 for two pizzas in its first known transaction for commercial purposes.  At the time, the 10,000 Bitcoin were worth less than ½ cent each, which made the transaction seem much less extravagant.[7]

158,000,000 – The number of Americans (nearly half of the U.S.’s 330 million population) who are covered by one or a combination of Medicare, Medicaid, and subsidized enrollment in state and federal healthcare exchanges.[8]

12,000,000 – The number of new jobs expected to be created by 2030 in the Artificial Intelligence space. [9]

9,553,000 – The number of job openings in the U.S. [10] With unemployment at 3.9% and a growing number of Americans reaching retirement age, there is likely to be continuing pressure in the labor market, particularly on wages (barring significant productivity improvements).

4,100,000 – The total number of pet adoptions expected in 2023.[11]  Approximately 44% of all U.S. households have a dog and 35% have a cat.[12]  It is the unverified opinion of the authors of this piece that dog owners are 42% happier than cat owners.  According to the World Animal Foundation, people spent $136.8 billion on their pets in 2022.[13]    

1,943,876 – The total number of Cybertruck pre-orders as of July 22, 2023.[14] Tesla has stated that its Gigafactory has the capacity to produce 125K Cybertrucks per year, implying that those at the end of the pre-order list will likely receive their vehicles in 2038.

835,850.71 – The amount of currency, mostly in coins, which the TSA collected in unclaimed money from security screening areas.[15] These authors contributed at least $0.43 to that total.

32,595 – The amount in dollars that electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian loses on every vehicle sold.[16] Rivian raised $12 billion in its November 2021 initial public offering, and shares of its stock soon soared as high as $179.47.  The company reported a $3.9 billion loss through the first three quarters of 2023 and the stock now trades at $17.74 per share, a decline of 90% from its high.  Full disclosure, these authors do not own any Rivian shares.

4,600 – Average savings in dollars in repair and maintenance costs over the life of an electric vehicle compared to a gasoline-powered car.[17]

3,000 – The dollar estimates by the National Institute of Health that each illegal immigrant costs U.S. taxpayers per year in support.[18] In fiscal 2023, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol recorded 2.5 million encounters with illegal immigrants along the Southern border.[19] If all those individuals gathered in one area, they would roughly equal the population of Chicago and would surpass in population the 14 smallest states in the U.S.

94 – The number of seconds Aaron Rogers played for the Jets before tearing his Achilles tendon. He will still be paid $37.5MM for the season.[20]

88 – The percentage of U.S. adults surveyed that said high school did not leave them “fully-prepared” for how to handle money in the real world.[21]

80 – The percentage of all mass sent into orbit this year that was lifted by SpaceX rockets.[22]  SpaceX has launched 91 rockets to date in 2023. 

64.6 – The percentage that productivity increased between 1979 and 2021 for the average U.S. worker.  Over the same period hourly pay increased 17.3%, meaning productivity increased 3.7 times more than pay.[23]

36 – The cost in cents for every query of the large language model A.I. driven application ChatGTP.  The site and application have exploded in popularity this past year and ChatGTP now responds to nearly 10 million queries per day.[24]

7.5 – The percentage reduction in blood flow to the brain caused by wearing a tie.[25]

6 – The percentage return contribution of the “other” 493 stocks to the S&P 500’s 2023 return as of November 15th.  The Magnificent Seven—Meta, Amazon, Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Nvidia, and Tesla—make up 27% of the S&P 500’s market cap, approximately 17% of its total earnings and have returned approximately 71% year-to-date.[26] 

5.6 – The total percentage of U.S. exports represented by oil.  Oil is the U.S.’s largest export and 2023 marks the fourth consecutive year in which all three categories of oil exports exceeded oil imports—a massive shift from the U.S. being a net importer just a few years ago.[27]

4 – The number of boats sunk by orcas in 2023, one fewer than the number of bank failures in 2023: Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, First Republic Bank, Heartland Tri-State Bank, and Citizens Bank.[28]  These authors do not believe there is either a correlation or any causal relationship between these two phenomena.

3 – Length in feet of the key that opens the Bank of England’s gold vault.[29]  While this number is not specific to 2023, these authors still found it interesting.

1 – Chinese spy balloon shot down in 2023[30] using a $400,000 missile.

0.766 – The percentage of the U.S. registered automobile fleet represented by electric and hybrid vehicles.[31]

0 – The number of dissatisfied MCM clients (according to our own, informal, and not at all biased anecdotal survey results).

With just a few days remaining until the sunset of 2023 and the dawn of 2024, we wish all of you a joyous holiday season and a healthy and prosperous new year.


[1] U.S. National Debt Clock (usdebtclock.org)

[3] Strategas:  2023 Holiday Spending Growth Outpacing 2022 – The Daily Macro Brief 11/28/23

[6] Box Office Mojo (www.boxofficemojo.com)

[8] Congressional Budget Office (https://www.cbo.gov/publication/59613)

[10] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, September release (bls.gov/jlt/)

[12] American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPC.org)

[18] National Institute of Health (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12291891/)

[25] National Library of Medicine (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29961088/)

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (fdic.gov/bank/historical/bank/bfb2023.html)

[31] Calculated as 2,130,000 electric vehicles registered (U.S. Energy Information Administration 2021 eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=60422) divided by 278,063,737 personal and commercial vehicles registered in the United States 2021 (Forbes forbes.com/advisor/car-insurance/car-ownership-statistics/#department-of-transportation-federal)


Disclosures

This material is solely for informational purposes and shall not constitute a recommendation or offer to sell or a solicitation to buy securities. The opinions expressed herein represent the current, good faith views of the author at the time of publication and are provided for limited purposes, are not definitive investment advice, and should not be relied on as such. The information presented herein has been developed internally and/or obtained from sources believed to be reliable; however, neither the author nor Manchester Capital Management guarantee the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of such information. Predictions, opinions, and other information contained in this article are subject to change continually and without notice of any kind and may no longer be true after any date indicated. Any forward-looking predictions or statements speak only as of the date they are made, and the author and Manchester Capital assume no duty to and do not undertake to update forward-looking predictions or statements. Forward-looking predictions or statements are subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties, which change over time. Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in forward-looking predictions or statements. As with any investment, there is the risk of loss.

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