Daniel Cullinane CPA
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2500 Plaza 5 25th fl Jersey City NJ 07311 phone 732-516-1648 fax 732-516-9778
Copyright © Daniel Cullinane CPA.
Chick-fil-A has posted explosive growth as it has become one of the most popular fast-food chains in America. It now has locations in 46 states. Its recent growth has taken into large cities like New York and modest-sized towns in Texas, Delaware, and Tennessee. And, the stores it has opened recently show it is expanding at a rate of over a store a week.
In less than a month, Chick-fil-A opened stores in seven states. These include Covington, GA, Woodbridge, NJ, two in Seattle, two in Beaverton, OR, Los Angeles, one in Corpus Christi, TX, and one in New York City. New York has a population of 8 million. Covington has a population of 18,000. The store opening pattern does not just include big cities.
In the next two weeks, Chick-fil-A plans to open another five stores which will expand its presence in another five states. These include Frisco, TX, Jacksonville, AL, Franklin, TN, Seaford, DE, and another in New York City. Jacksonville’s population is only about 13,000.
At the end of June, Chick-fil-A had 2,363 locations. Management means to make it one of the largest fast-food chains in American in a brief amount of time. According to Buzzfeed,in the next two years, it will pass Taco Bell, Burger King, and Wendy’s to take third place in America. Questioned about whether it could become so large in a short period of time, a Chick-fil-A executive said, “The trajectory we’re on would support that.”
Chick-fil-A had revenue of $10 billion last year. That makes it much smaller than McDonald’s for now. McDonald’s had about $20 billion in sales last year, but only about half was in the U.S. And, that its number of the U.S. of stores has been flat at about 14,000 for the last five years.
Finally, Chick-fil-A’s public image is the best of all fast-food restaurants. McDonald’s is last, according to a recent American Customer Satisfaction Index. The number included 19 companies. How hard is it to open a Chick-fil-A location? The list of qualifications is much shorter than you would think.
ome people may feel sorry for all the 23-to-38-year-olds out there today. They sound like a disadvantaged bunch.
A study published earlier this week, conducted by the dating site Match, concluded that some millennials don’t even feel they can afford to date in the first place. The survey of more than 5,000 men and women in that age group revealed that 21% believe they need to reach a certain income level in order to pursue a romantic relationship and that 30% feel that their financial instability is having a negative effect on their dating life.
That financial instability is substantial: Another recent survey, this one of 1,000 men and women in the same age group, by the financial advice site Money Under 30, found that some 45.7% of millennials receive regular monthly support from their parents, while 22% of them still live at home or get rent assistance from Mom and Dad. That said, there are certainly numerous examples of American cities where millennials own homes.
Now comes the latest bad news for the generation: 30% of the millennials polled by the market research and polling firm YouGov revealed that they feel lonely — and 22% said that they flat-out had no friends. Even some of those who did have friends replied that the had “no close friends” (30%) or “no best friends” (25%). In comparison, only 9% of baby boomers and 16% of Gen Xers complained of being friendless.
The poll offers no theories as to why millennials should feel so bereft, though it’s tempting to blame the phenomenon on increased screen time, and there is evidence that Facebook and other social media may add to loneliness and depression.
On the other hand, a 1990 meta-analysis called “Age Differences in Loneliness” pointed out that there are natural cycles in the ebbing and flowing of friendship, and that “loneliness was highest among young adults…[and] declined over midlife….”
Maybe millennials just need to get older.
Or maybe they need to take more time socializing. Like many generations before them, millennials are often accused of being lazy. Yet many young people have worked hard and created a new wave of businesses that have changed how people live — these are the 30 richest millennials.
Since the home price recovery began in 2010, U.S. home prices have risen by 73%, even though homeownership rates among all Americans has declined by 3% to 64.1%. The rate of homeownership among white Americans was 73.1% at the end of the second quarter of 2019, while the rate for black Americans was a record low 40.6%. The Hispanic and Latino American homeownership rate was 46.6%. Homeownership is higher in certain metro areas. These are the cities where the most people own their homes.
The ownership gap between white and black Americans widened by 3.6 percentage points in the years since 2010, while the gap between white and Hispanic/Latino Americans grew by half a point. In the same period, homeownership rates dropped 5.0 percentage points for black Americans, 1.9 points for Hispanic/Latino Americans and 1.4 points for white Americans. Online real-estate brokerage Redfin reported the data on Wednesday.
Redfin’s chief economist, Daryl Fairweather, commented: “The growing racial homeownership gap has widened the wealth gap, as home equity remains one of the most significant wealth-building tools. And now, with higher home prices and tighter lending standards than before the housing crash of 2008, it’s more difficult than ever for minorities to break into the housing market. That’s likely to contribute to growing economic inequality in the U.S.”
While average home equity rose 213% in black communities between 2012 and 2018, the dollar change was 58% higher in white communities. Average home equity in 2012 in black communities was $38,547 and rose to $159,321 in 2018. In white communities, home equity averaged $105,776 in 2012, rising to $296,712 last year. Home equity in Hispanic/Latino communities rose from $77,817 in 2012 to $283,805 in 2018, a gain of 165%. Overall, home equity dollar gains for the period rang in at $194,000, an increase of 197%.
Using Federal Reserve data reported in 2017 and still the most recent available according to Redfin, median net worth for black Americans fell by 2.8% between 2010 and 2016, from $17,600 to $17,100. During the same period, median net worth for white Americans rose by 18.5% to $171,000, and the gap between the wealth of black and white Americans widened by 22.8%, from $125,300 to $153.900.
To the gaps in total homeownership, home equity and net worth, Redfin’s Fairweather adds a black unemployment rate that has dropped from 16.5% in January 2010 to 6.0% in June 2019. Over the same period, white unemployment fell from 5.5% to 3.3%. He comments: “Although the unemployment rate has gone down for black Americans, their wealth has also gone down. Homeownership has been the traditional way for the middle class to build wealth, so the fact that the black homeownership rate has gone down helps explain why decreased unemployment hasn’t translated to greater wealth.”
Homeownership is one of many metrics for which rates for black Americans are below average. Some areas of the country are worse off than others. These are the worst cities for black Americans.
The world’s supply of oil is returning — slowly — to balance. In the first half of 2019, supply exceeded demand by 900,000 barrels a day, but the second-quarter excess was just 500,000 barrels a day. By the end of the first quarter of next year, global stockpiles will have increased by 136 million barrels.
The important detail is that the recent agreement between OPEC and its partners, aka OPEC+, has failed to achieve its goal of rebalancing the market for crude and will continue failing into next year. OPEC itself is expected to continue producing about 30 million barrels a day through the remainder of this year. In 2020, demand for OPEC crude could drop to 28 million barrels a day, a production level last seen in 2003.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) reported the data Friday in its July Oil Market Report. The agency stuck with its estimate of demand growth for 2019 of 1.2 million barrels a day. That estimate has not changed in three months.
Next year, the agency is predicting demand growth of 1.4 million barrels a day. That may sound like an improvement but in reality is 450,000 barrels a day below previous estimates. There are “many reasons” for the lowered estimate: “European demand is sluggish; growth in India vanished in April and May due to a slowdown in LPG deliveries and weakness in the aviation sector; and in the US demand for both gasoline and diesel in the first half of 2019 is lower year-on-year.”
The recent agreement between Saudi Arabia and Russia to restrict production through the first quarter of next year will have one major effect on the world oil market: OPEC will continue to bleed market share. Or, as the IEA puts it: “Clearly, this presents a major challenge to those who have taken on the task of market management.”
Recent price increases reflect events like the attacks on oil shipments out of the Persian Gulf and the shut-in of Gulf of Mexico platforms ahead of Hurricane Barry that do lift prices, but only temporarily. The longer range outlook for the global economy is weak, and a slowly growing world economy does not need as much oil. By reducing production, OPEC is shooting itself in the foot — or worse.
If we look out beyond the next year or two, the picture gets even cloudier for oil producers. Demand for oil and refined products is forecast to decline as more electric vehicles hit the world’s highways. Researchers at BloombergNEF in May forecast electric vehicle sales to rise from a record 1.1 million worldwide last year to 11 million in 2025, and then surge to 30 million in 2030 as EVs establish cost advantage over internal combustion engine (ICE) cars.
For now, though, the IEA sums up the world oil market this way: “Market tightness is not an issue for the time being and any re-balancing seems to have moved further into the future.” In other words, there’s plenty of oil and there will continue to be plenty of oil well into next year.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil traded at around $60.30 a barrel Friday morning, up less than a dime for the day. Brent crude traded at around $66.70 a barrel, about 20 cents above Thursday’s settlement price.