3 bln person-to-person financial transactions in 2008

US noncash person-to-person market in 2008 was $1.1 trln in over 3 bln transactions. Checks are in decline, but they remain the most significant person-to-person payment method, amounting to over $1 trln of the noncash P2P payments volume. In 2008, checks represented over $1.013 trln of the noncash P2P payments in the United States and cost financial institutions what TowerGroup estimates as $255 mln to process.

European mobile services penetration to reach 135% by 2012

Europe as a region has the highest adoption of mobile services at 121% penetration and this is expected to rise to 135% by 2012. At these high penetrations, overall service revenue growth through the handset is expected to decline. However, ARPU is expected to continue growing among business users. In a new market data product from ABI Research, overall business revenue is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 4%, a significant statistic considering that ARPU from consumer mobile services will stay flat at a CAGR of 0.1%.

Top movies in 2008

Rank Title Distributor Total US$ Open Date
1 THE DARK KNIGHT Warner Bros. 530,540,885 07/18/2008
2 IRON MAN Paramount 318,313,199 05/02/2008
3 INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL Paramount 317,023,851 05/22/2008
4 HANCOCK Sony 227,946,274 07/02/2008
5 WALL-E Disney 223,704,223 06/27/2008
6 KUNG FU PANDA Paramount 215,434,591 06/06/2008
7 MADAGASCAR: ESCAPE 2 AFRICA Paramount 165,653,852 11/07/2008
8 DR. SEUSS’ HORTON HEARS A WHO Fox 154,529,439 03/14/2008
9 SEX AND THE CITY Warner Bros. 152,647,258 05/30/2008
10 QUANTUM OF SOLACE Sony 151,620,134 11/14/2008
Source: Nielsen

77% of Americans think media is making economic situation worse

77% of Americans believe that the US media is making the economic situation worse by projecting fear into people’s minds. Here are highlights of note:

  • Household Income $25k – $35k – 79% answered YES
  • Household Income $35k – $50k – 88% answered YES
  • Household Income $50k – $75k – 76% answered YES
  • Household Income $75k – more – 78% answered YES
  • 85% of young adults (18-24 yrs old) answered YES
  • 77% of males and females alike answered YES
  • 65% of blacks answered YES

20% of teens have sent naked or semi-naked photos of themselves

About a third of young adults 20-26 and 20% of teens say they’ve sent or posted naked or semi-naked photos or videos of themselves, National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. A third of teen boys and 40% of young men say they’ve seen nude or semi-nude images sent to someone else; about a quarter of teen girls and young adult women have. 39% of teens and 59% of those ages 20-26 say they’ve sent suggestive text messages.73% said they knew sending sexually suggestive content “can have serious negative consequences,” yet 22% said it’s “no big deal.”

41 mln Americans to travel more than 50 miles this Thanksgiving

AAA says 41 mln Americans were expected to travel more than 50 miles for the holiday, down about 1.5% or 600,000 people from Thanksgiving 2007. Of those, about 4.5 mln are expected to fly, down about 7% from 2007, while around 33.2 mln will drive, a decrease of about 1%. It is the first decrease in holiday travel nationally since 2002, and the largest since the Thanksgiving that followed the terror attacks on September 11, 2001.

Why people switch credit cards

Reason Percent of Respondents
Lower APR/interest rates 52%
Better rewards/features 38%
Existing banking or other credit card relationhips 3%
Better customer service offered elsewhere 3%
Benefits for holding multiple accounts/cards 2%
Better account management features 2%
Source: comScore

UK population to reach 77 mln in 2060

UK population is expected to increase from its current figure of 61 mln to almost 77 mln in 2060 – a rise of 25%. This would make it the largest population in the EU, ahead of the projections for France (72 mln) and Germany (71 mln). Eurostat predicts the EU population will be 506 mln in 2060, up from 495 mln in 2008. It is expected to peak at 521 mln in 2035 but then decline.

Average American tips 19% at a restaurant

Although 75% of surveyors cite poor service as their main complaint, Philadelphians are the most generous tippers in the nation, leaving 19.6% versus the countrywide average of 19.0%. In comparison, diners in New York City tip the average 19.0% and in Los Angeles they tip 18.4%, Zagat found.

45.7 mln Americans uninsured in 2007

The US Census Bureau released a report that estimates that 45.7 mln Americans were uninsured in 2007 compared to 47 mln in 2006. The US Census report found that more people were covered by government health insurance programs – increasing from 27% in 2006 to 27.8% in 2007. During this period, the number of people covered by government health insurance increased to 83 mln up from 80.3 mln in 2006. At the same time, the share of people covered by employer-sponsored health insurance coverage decreased to 59.3% in 2007 from 59.7% in 2006.

62.7% of US employees choose PPO plan for their medical insurance

Consumer Driven Health Plans, or CDHPs, increased by 43% from 2007, and now comprise nearly 13% of all plans offered by employers. The%age of employees enrolled in these plans nearly doubled, from six% in 2007 to 11.2% 2008. While preferred provider organizations (PPOs) continue to dominate the market, representing 54% of plans offered by employers and nearly two-thirds (62.7%) of employees enrolled, health maintenance organization (HMO) participation continues to slip, and now represents just 21.3% of plans offered, with only 13.3% of employees enrolled, United Benefits Advisors reported.

Online political activities by age

Online political activities by age 18-29 30-49 50-64 65+
Watched campaign commercials online 37% 28% 26% 24%
Watched candidate speeches or announcements online 35 29 20 19
Watched interviews with candidates online 35 27 20 21
Watched online video that did not come from a campaign or news organization 35 25 20 14
Watch video online of the candidate debates 33 23 17 16
Posted your own political commentary or writing 12 5 3 2
Source: Pew Internet Project