Each month, the University of Michigans Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) tracks sales-weighted fuel economy ratings of new cars purchased in the US. Its data goes back to October 2007, and there have been solid gains since it began. Last month bucked that trend, though, and as a result weve seen the average fall once again.

Thankfully, its not that big of a dip. May 2016s value was 25.4 miles per gallon, and Junes is but 25.3. Its not necessarily surprising, either -- over the last year, weve seen the graph take a bit of a downturn as gas became cheaper and more Americans jumped on the crossover bandwagon. Sadly, that bandwagon contains no actual wagons, because we refuse to buy them for whatever silly reason.

The chart peaked in August 2014, when average economy was 25.8 mpg. Thats also when gas was outrageously expensive, with the national average around $3.70 per gallon. As the price has gone down, buyers have moved away from more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Weve been in a sort of holding pattern for about a year now, with average fuel economy rising and falling several times. Its likely that the 2016 model year average will hold steady, as it has done for the two model years before that. Unless gas prices shoot back into the ionosphere, were likely to see stagnation until automakers start ramping up fleet fuel economy ahead of tightening Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations, which is set to happen in the next decade.



LONDON, Britains economy looks set for a significant slowdown after a strong second quarter, a think tank said on Thursday, based on data mostly recorded before last months decision by voters to leave the European Union.

The warning from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) follows some early signs that businesses and consumers might be suffering from uncertainty created by the June 23 vote to leave the EU.

NIESR estimated Britains economy expanded 0.6 percent in the second quarter, up from a 0.4 percent increase in the first three months of the year.

But it warned the acceleration was driven by a surge of activity in April, adding that gross domestic product likely stagnated in May and contracted in June.

What it does suggest is that when April drops out of the three-month calculation we should see a quick deterioration of growth, especially if the estimated contraction in June persists or accelerates into July and beyond, Jack Meaning, a research fellow at NIESR, said.

The Bank of England has taken steps to ensure British banks keep lending as the financial consequences of the referendum decision began to materialize, especially in commercial real estate.

Governor Mark Carney has said he expects the Bank to pump more monetary stimulus into the economy over the summer.

Surveys of British firms published by Markit/CIPS, conducted mostly before the June 23 referendum, suggested Britains economy is growing at a quarterly pace of just 0.2 percent.

A YouGov/CEBR survey on Tuesday showed business confidence dropped sharply after the referendum result.

NIESR warned before the June 23 vote that Britains economy would likely end up around 1.0 percent smaller in 2017 in the event of a Brexit vote than if the country decided to stay in the EU, and would be 2.3 percent smaller in 2018.

((Reporting by Andy Bruce; editing by William Schomberg))



With his combative campaign style and large-state electoral votes, Christie could provide the Trump ticket with a strong political boost, touting his record on a number of issues attractive to GOP voters.

His economic record, though, has a lot less to offer.

On Wednesday, Democratic rival and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, made a campaign stop in Christies back yard to blast Trump for getting rich by taking advantage of American workers.

Standing outside one of Trumps bankrupt Atlantic City, New Jersey, casinos, Clinton said that his campaign is trying to appeal to voters who are the same people he has been exploiting for years -- working people, small-business people trying to support their families.

In a statement released shortly after Clintons remarks, Trump defended bankruptcy as an effective and commonly used practice in business.

I created thousands of jobs and made a lot of money in Atlantic City, which was what, as a businessman, I am supposed to do for my company and my family, Trump said in the statement.

A Christie representative could not be reached for comment. Christie has said that, under his administration, New Jerseys economic and fiscal have dramatically improved since he took office. New Jersey is better off than it was last year at this time, and it is certainly far better off than it was just five years ago, he said in his State of the State speech this year.

Since he was inaugurated the Garden States 55th governor in January 2010, New Jerseys overall economic growth has lagged the national pace of recovery. As of the first quarter of this year, the US economy is 22.4 percent bigger than when Christie took office; his states economy has grown by 18.2 percent.



Flickr / aisletwentytwo

Bill Gross thinks the world economy is playing a losing game.

In his latest investment outlook on Wednesday, Gross said credit creation had reached its limits and there was nothing central banks could do about it. This means the global economy, which Gross said is based on credit creation, in turn is slowly grinding to a halt.

To illustrate his point, Gross compared the world economy to the board game Monopoly. Heres how its supposed to work, according to Gross:

But all of these elements are but properties on a larger economic landscape best typified by a Monopoly board. In that game, capitalists travel around the board, buying up properties, paying rent, and importantly passing Go and collecting $200 each and every time. And its the $200 of cash (which in the economic scheme of things represents new credit) that is responsible for the ongoing health of our finance-based economy. Without new credit, economic growth moves in reverse and individual player bankruptcies become more probable.

The rub, Gross said, is that to sustain economic growth in the real world the amount of credit extended by private banks -- the $200 in the analogy -- must continue to increase to fund new projects. If that doesnt happen, then you end up with the classic ending to a game of Monopoly: frustration, bankruptcies for players, and, as Gross puts it, dog eat dog with the survival of many of the players on the board at risk.

All of this is a somewhat convoluted way of Gross making the point that for gross domestic product to continue to grow in the US and elsewhere, credit growth must continue. This, however, is not happening. Heres Gross again (emphasis added):

As shown in Chart I, credit growth which has averaged 9% a year since the beginning of this century barely reaches 4% annualized in most quarters now. And why isnt that enough? Well the proofs in the pudding or the annualized GDP numbers both here and abroad. A highly levered economic system is dependent on credit creation for its stability and longevity, and now it is growing sub-optimally. Yes, those structural elements mentioned previously are part of the explanation. But credit is the oil that lubes the system, the straw that stirs the drink, and when the private system (not the central bank) fails to generate sufficient credit growth, then real economic growth stalls and even goes in reverse.

Janus Capital

Additionally, it is not just aggregate credit growth that is falling apart, but also the rate at which credit moves around the economy, also known as its velocity. The turnover of credit paid back allowed lenders to go out and extend more credit, moving money through the economy and adding to GDP growth.

This velocity of credit is stimulated by lowering interest rates, Gross said, so central banks were able to get some GDP growth through lowering interest rates. Now with interest rates near zero, velocity will slow and the last bit of fuel for the economy will disappear.

So with total credit created slowing, slower turnover of credit, and little by way of stimulus from central banks left to boost either of those factors, the world economy is stuck in this growth stagnation.

Our credit-based financial system is sputtering, and risk assets are reflecting that reality even if most players (including central banks) have little clue as to how the game is played, Gross said.

All of this is fairly downbeat, but it is an extension much of Gross recent outlooks for credit specifically. Gross is essentially of the opinion that central banks can no longer help the economy (and may be actively harming it), investors will get nowhere near the returns they have become accustomed to over the past few decades, and long-term structural trends like automation will leave people without jobs or income.

Basically, nothing good.

You can read Gross full outlook hereĀ»