This Month

Geriatric Dentistry

by The Editor for Features, Health

Geriatric Dentistry

Americans are living longer and continuing to enjoy the lifestyles they have grown accustomed to, in large part, thanks to advances in modern medicine and dentistry. No longer are seniors housebound, forced to live out their senior years watching television in the recesses of an isolated dark living room.

Advances in dentistry have created not only the opportunity, but the expectation of continued oral health throughout a lifetime. People expect to enjoy active lifestyles which include the enjoyment of fine dining and the youthful look a full dentition provides by supporting facial structures and thus retaining a youthful appearance. Medicine has shown time and time again that nutrition is one of the key factors in maintaining health, requiring a healthy dentin to perform this function. The oral-systemic relationship is proven; chronic inflammation or infection in the mouth affects the whole body. Periodontal disease, a chronic inflammation, has been proven to increase the likelihood of stroke, heart attack, diabetes and other maladies. Infection in the mouth increases the rate of prosthetic joint failure and rejection.
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SUNGLOW RANCH RECEIVES TRIP ADVISOR ACCOLADES

by The Editor for Travel

Sunglow Ranch, an intimate guest ranch property and birders’ paradise in the Chiricahua Mountains in southeast Arizona, has announced that it has received the 2013 Certificate of Excellence from Christine Petersen, President of Trip Advisor for Business.

The award is in recognition of Sunglow’s achievement of the highest Trip Advisor rating of five on its well-known scale of five circles, based on independent reviews by its guests. The ratings measure guest feedback on specific criteria including value, sleep quality, cleanliness and service. Of 92 reviews, Sunglow Ranch has achieved an overall excellent rating from 93.5% of its reviewers.
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Economic Notes for the Week of March 18th

by Karl Schroeder for Finance

(+) The most heavily-looked at report last week, retail sales, registered a stronger-than-expected result for February, up +1.1% versus a consensus estimate of +0.5%.  The headline figure was aided by a +5.0% gain in gas station sales (in line with higher gasoline prices).  Auto sales and building materials, both cyclical and choppy month-to-month, were up +1.1% and helped the overall results.  The next level of ‘cleaned-up’ data, retail sales ex-autos, gained a still-respectable +1.0% that beat the expected +0.5%.  Lastly, the ‘core/control’ retail sales number (which excludes autos, gasoline and building materials, and represents the figure that corresponds most closely to the consumer spending segment of the quarterly GDP report) gained +0.4%, double the expected +0.2% increase.  In addition, increases were broad, with strong results in ‘general merchandise,’ food/beverage and online sales.  What this tells us is that purchasing activity continues to improve—despite some fears of slowing due to this year’s payroll tax increases.  While still fairly low, this remains a tailwind in our favor.
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Economic Notes for the Week of March 11th

by Karl Schroeder for Finance

(+) The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index for February came in better than the expected 55.0 level with a small increase to 56.0.  New orders and business activity were higher, while employment deteriorated a bit (although still in expansionary territory).  Inventory expansion was also slightly higher.  Interestingly, anecdotal comments in the survey responses were optimistic with a general theme that business was ‘picking up’ in several industries in a more diversified way.

(+) Factory orders for January fell -2.0%, which was a touch better than the forecasted decline of -2.2%.  A large decline in aircraft orders (defense and non-defense—both of which are a ‘choppy’ series) accounted for a good portion of the result.  While ‘core’ (non-defense, non-aircraft) capital goods shipments fell -1.1% during the month, on the positive side, forward-looking core orders came in at a strong +7.2%. 
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Economic Notes for the Week of February 25th

by Karl Schroeder for Finance

(0) The CPI inflation number for January was flat, which was a bit less than the slight increase of +0.1% expected.  However, the core inflation number—which excludes more volatile food and energy prices—gained +0.3% as opposed to an expected +0.2%.  The difference was mainly due to an energy price decline in the headline figure, as well as marginal gains in apparel, tuition/child care and tobacco in the core number.  Year-over-year, the headline inflation number was up +1.6% and core +1.9%.  Similarly, the Producer Price Index for January rose +0.2% which was a tick below the expected +0.3% increase (and a year-over-year result of +1.4%).  The core number rose by an identical amount, in line with expectations.
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Economic Notes for the Week of February 18th

by Karl Schroeder for Finance

(0) Retail sales on a headline level came in close to consensus, with a +0.1% gain for January.  When sales ex-automobiles were removed, the growth bumped to +0.2%, which was a tenth of a percent better than expected.  Lastly, the ‘core/control’ number (which attempts to normalize things by excluding cyclical autos, gasoline stations and building materials—per what the government uses in their GDP calculations) rose +0.1% for the month, which was lower than the forecast +0.3%.  In the core figure, ‘misc.’ retailers such as office supply were down over two percent, while department stores were stronger by roughly a percentage point.  Net-net, despite payroll tax hike effects, it appears this year has begun decently in the retail sales arena, albeit with relatively flat numbers.


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