Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Peak U.S. Public Air Transportation Services

Click to enlarge.

I know what you are thinking. Okay, sure. That's definitely a peak. It can't be the ultimate peak though. Our population is growing and the future is so bright I gotta wear shades!

Not so fast. Let's put that same data on a log chart. On a log chart, constant exponential growth is seen as a straight line.

Click to enlarge.

That's not straight. It's curving exactly like a baseball in flight would, and when I say exactly I mean with an r-squared of 0.995.

Click to enlarge.

If the 80+ year long-term trend continues, only the wealthiest among us will be flying in planes someday. How's that for a kick to the long-term prosperity gonads? It isn't just flying either. Driving looks mighty suspect as well. Just doing my part to add some perspective! Sigh. Perspective

Less is more. Unless you're standing next to the one with more. Then less just looks pathetic.

This post inspired by Rob Dawg who pointed me to a whole new world of FRED quantity indices (in the comments found here).

Source Data:
St. Louis Fed: Public Air Transportation
St. Louis Fed: Public Air Transportation (Natural Log)


Mr Slippery said...

Wow, not even adjusted for population.

Stagflationary Mark said...

Mr Slippery,

We'll know it is really bad when the jumbo jet tire rental businesses form, lol. Sigh.

Stagflationary Mark said...

Here's a fun mind blowing adventure.

1. Look at the travel charts again.
2. Look at the chart in this link.
3. Attempt to unblow your mind.

I'm stuck on step 3. I can't do it, lol. Sigh.

dearieme said...

We might have some pretty nasty deflation before governments try to promote severe inflation as an answer to it.

Maybe I should invest in Fixed Interest Gilts for a while: the irredeemable War Loan is paying 4.38%p.a. That would require me to time an exit well.

dearieme said...

Or if deflation lasted for eight years or more, I could do nicely rolling down the yield curve from ten years to two years. Here's the yield curve.

On the other hand, we have a car to replace. First things first.

Stagflationary Mark said...


If anyone can eventually turn deflation into inflation then I'd guess the UK can.

As Clinton would say, I feel your pain.

Neil said...


That peak is suspiciously close to the instigation of the TSA. There is probably a bit of noise in the signal.

Still, it does look set to level off at best.

But I suspect buggy-whips had an S-curve to them, too.

Stagflationary Mark said...


The buggy was replaced by the car.

Perhaps the airplane is being replaced with Skype.

Tag line:

When almost being there is almost good enough

Neil said...

Skype? Yes, partly. I assure you that a two- or three-person Skype meeting is often more productive than flying 6 hours (plus 2 for the TSA) each way to attend a "kickoff" meeting.

With 3D printing coming along nicely, the comfy-chair revolution has commenced in earnest.