Jun 21, 2017

Average yearly income of top 1% in America: $1.3 million

The jobs market is humming these days, but income inequality continues to grow. Torsten Slok, Chief International Economist with Deustche Bank Securities, sent the following chart to clients on Tuesday, drawn on the most recent work by inequality researchers Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman. Pikkety is the author of the much-discussed 2014 book, Capital in the 21st Century.

Why it matters: The yawning gap between U.S. haves and have nots is only growing more severe, and there are no signs that the trend will slow on its own. These are the numbers Bernie Sanders studied before wagering that the Democratic Party's path to electoral success is through aggressive economic populism.

Data: Deutsche Bank Research; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

The future of work will make this worse: Some economists argue that rising income inequality can be blamed on an unprecedented, rapid decline in the price of automation technology since the early 1980s. As machines become cheaper, the argument goes, business owners can simply replace workers with capital investments and reap more profits for themselves.

If this theory is correct, we should expect income inequality to rise ever-more quickly, as applications for artificial intelligence increase and the amount of computing power per dollar available rises exponentially.

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Eurozone producer prices sink again

Data: FactSet; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The continued decline in prices paid by manufacturers could be a major impediment to European policymakers' desire for higher inflation in the eurozone, and data released Monday shows things are not improving.

What happened: The producer price index for the eurozone fell for the fourth straight month in November.

Go deeperArrowJan 7, 2020

World Bank changes hiring rules after asking Taiwanese staff to get Chinese passports

World Bank President David Malpass. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The World Bank has revised its staff rules after Axios reported in December that the bank had asked Taiwanese employees to obtain Chinese passports.

Why it matters: The revised rule, issued on Dec. 19, states that the World Bank gives hiring preference to nationals from member states, but does not prohibit hiring non-member state nationals. China has sought to squeeze out Taiwanese nationals from international institutions. The World Bank's new rules represent a compromise position.

Go deeperArrowJan 9, 2020

The present and future confidence gap

Data: The Conference Board; Chart: Axios Visuals

The difference between Americans' views of their current situation and their expectations for the future continues to grow.

The state of play: The Conference Board's December consumer confidence report showed a 3.4 point rise in consumers' assessment of their present situation, and a 3-point decline in their expectations for the future.

Go deeper: Consumers are picking up the lagging business sector's slack