May’s Index

This month’s index covers housing inflation in San Francisco, airline costs, tulip prices relative to wages, and a potpourri of numbers on healthcare.

Housing units in San Francisco in 1980: 316,608

Housing units in 2014: 386,610

Relative growth per year: <1%

Median monthly rent in San Francisco for a one bedroom apartment: $3,700

Monthly rent for a one bedroom apartment in 1980 based on 2015 prices: $1,376

Dollars spent in 2018 by Southwest Airlines on jet fuel: $4.6B

Dollars spent in 2018 by Southwest Airlines on salaries, wages, and benefits: $7.6B

2018 Fuel costs per available seat: $22.23

Average cost of fuel per flight, 2018: $3,350

Average cost of fuel per flight, 2014: $4,232

Fuel as a percentage of Southwests operating costs: 25-40%

At peak prices in 1637, the sales prices of some tulips in Holland relative to the annual income of a skilled craftsman: 10x

The percentages of pharmacy rebates the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates Pharmacy Benefit Managers will keep given changes to rules for Medicare and Medicaid: 15%

CBO’s estimated cost to taxpayers over 10 years: $177B.

According to a study by the Rand Corporation, the average multiple of Medicare paid by commercial insurance for inpatient hospital stays: 2.4x.

Hospital stays per 1,000 for those with employer-sponsored insurance: 58

The average cost of a hospital stay for the commercially insured (rounded to nearest $1,000): $20,000

The number of the last 8 Cheesecake Factor (ticker: CAKE) earnings calls on which medical costs are discussed: 7

GM’s other post-retirement (OPEB) liabilities in 2018: $5.4B

OPEB liabilities per car sold in the US in 2018: $1,790

Interest in “Reference Based Pricing” based on Google trends as of May 2019 (scale of 0 to 100): 57

In May 2015: 12.


Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash


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