Monday, July 28, 2008

WSJ: Test your knowledge of regional economics

Quiz in today's Wall Street Journal:
Leading Indicators
Test your knowledge of regional economics
July 28, 2008

How well do you know your regional economics? You might be surprised by how some cities, states and countries are doing when it comes to economics and business. Take our quiz and see.

1) Only one of the world's largest economies held its inflation rate under 2% in May. What country was it?

a. Japan
b. Canada
c. Australia

ANSWER: A. Japan, where the inflation rate was just 1.3% in May, according to Moody's

2) What U.S. state has the highest percentage of workers using public transportation to get to work?

a. California
b. Massachusetts
c. New York

ANSWER C. Outside the District of Columbia, where a whopping 39% of people get to work on buses and trains, New York is the state that claims the highest percentage of such commuters, with 26.1%. That's according to the Census Bureau.

3) What is the world's wealthiest country, as measured by gross national income per capita?

a. U.S.
b. Luxembourg
c. Saudi Arabia

ANSWER: B. Luxembourg ranked highest in 2007, at $64,400, says the World Bank. That's based on purchasing power parity, a measure that compensates for differences in local price levels.

4) What economically challenged large U.S. metropolitan area has the lowest unemployment rate?

a. Cleveland
b. New Orleans
c. Detroit

ANSWER: B. The Big Easy. New Orleans' unemployment rate was 3.3% in May, though that's partly due to the decline in the labor pool as many residents moved out of the region in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, a trend that's begun to reverse. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

5) What state boasts the highest percentage of workers in the management, business and financial sectors?

a. Maryland
b. New York
c. California

ANSWER: B. In 2006 it was Maryland, where 16.9% of people employed worked in those sectors, according to the Census Bureau. The state benefited from its proximity to Washington.

6) What air-cargo airport could eclipse Memphis, Tenn., to become the world's busiest this year?

a. Shanghai
b. Hong Kong
c. London

ANSWER: B. Hong Kong, according to the Airports Council International. It handled a total of 3.8 million metric tons of freight and mail for the 12 months through March, compared with 3.9 million in Memphis.

7) What country saw its gross domestic product rise nearly as fast as China's in the first quarter?

a. India
b. Brazil
c. Slovak Republic

ANSWER: C. The Slovak Republic's GDP rose 9.5%, while China's grew by 10.6%, says Moody's

8) What U.S. metropolitan area has the highest net worth per household?

a. Naples-Marco Island, Fla.
b. Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y.
c. San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif.

ANSWER: A. Naples-Marco Island, Fla., where the average household is valued at $1.7 million, according to Moody's

9) What U.S. metropolitan area lays claim to the highest median single-family home price during this time of slumping prices?

a. New York, N.Y.
b. San Jose, Calif.
c. Port St. Lucie, Fla.

ANSWER: B. The San Jose, Calif., region, an economy bolstered by the tech industry, where median first-quarter home prices were $780,000, says the National Association of Realtors.

10) What country received more than $180 billion in foreign direct investment in 2006, a measure that included net equity investments and reinvested earnings?

a. U.S.
b. China
c. India

ANSWER: A. The World Bank says foreign direct investments in the U.S. totaled $180.6 billion in 2006.

11) What U.S. county recorded the biggest percentage jump in its population from 2000 through 2007?

a. Clark County, Nev.
b. Kendall County, Ill.
c. San Bernardino County, Calif.

ANSWER: B. Kendall County, Ill., saw its population jump 77.5%, topping Flagler County, Fla., which rose by 77.4%, says the Census Bureau. Kendall, once a largely rural area about 50 miles from Chicago, has drawn new residents attracted by its affordable housing and good schools.

12) What's the easiest country in the world for businesses to set up shop?

a. Canada
b. Switzerland
c. Singapore

ANSWER: C. The World Bank rated Singapore No. 1 out of 178 countries, based on such measures as the relatively short time it takes to register property, get credit, low tax rate and the ability to enforce contracts.


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