[OPE] US national wealth 2007 - addition

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@tiscali.nl>
Date: Sat Dec 06 2008 - 18:59:15 EST

In the table I drew up I forgot to mention the capital value of the stock of consumer durables owned by Americans.

In 2007 rounded dollar values, they officially owned $2 trillion of consumer durables in 1980, and $4 trillion of consumer durables in 2007, i.e. in real terms the stock doubled in value, at least according to the 2008/2009 Federal Budget document.

I guess vehicles would be the main item by value in this stock of consumer durables.

According to DOT, there are in excess of 251 million passenger vehicles in the US, and 6.7 million motorcycles, which is roughly one-third of the world's total passenger vehicle stock. The number of US vehicles outnumbers the total US licensed drivers, the average US household uses 1.9 personal vehicles and there are 1.75 drivers per US household (this is higher than in Japan http://www.stat.go.jp/english/data/zensho/2004/taikyu/gaiyo1.htm ). Each year, there are 1.3% more cars in the US.

The average price of a new US car is around $30,000 and the median age of the US car stock is now about 9 years. Assume then somewhat conservatively an average US car value of $8,000, it would mean the value of all the vehicles is very close to $2 trillion.

Probably, therefore, the US Budget document underestimates the true value of consumer durables actually owned by American households, because those durables include more than cars (see further the Survey of Consumer Finances http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/oss/oss2/scfindex.html).

Take the example of diamonds. The US imported some $32.9 billion worth of diamonds from France just in the year 2006 http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/product/enduse/imports/c4279.html
The US also imported $8.9 billion worth of diamonds from Israel in 2007. http://www.israelidiamond.co.il/english/ You can catch the diamond trade news at sites like http://www.diamonds.net/news/ and http://www.diamondregistry.com/News/index.htm US imports of polished diamonds, by value, dwarf US imports of rough diamonds. http://www.awdc.be/index.php?id=1293 Most of the diamonds get polished somewhere else on the planet (Antwerp, Amsterdam, Tel Aviv, Surat, London etc.) and then imported into the US. About 80% of the world's diamonds are sold in New York.


French girls they want Cartier
Italian girls want cars
American girls want everything in the world
You can possibly imagine

- The Rolling Stones, "Some Girls"

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Received on Sat Dec 6 19:04:57 2008

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