WSJ By The Numbers - Top 10 for Sept.29

A compendium of revealing stats and the key leading economic and business indicators based on today's Wall Street Journal article and reports:

Under a new approach, if R&D spending is treated like capital investment, such as the cost of a machine tool or an office building,  R&D would have accounted for nearly 7% of growth from 1995 to 2002, up from a little more than 4% from 1959 to 1994.  The rest comes from an expanding work force, increased capital and other, unexplained factors. By comparison,  investment in buildings and factories contributed 2% during the 1959-2002 period.

Treating R&D as an investment would make the economy 3% larger and the national savings rate about 2 percentage points higher. Accounting for R&D would explain about one-fifth, by some measures, of the productivity growth. (Why Economists Track Firms' R&D - Data on Knowledge Creation Point to an Increasing Role In Domestic Product Growth)

U.S. remains an R&D powerhouse, investing $320 billion in such efforts last year. 

RIM added about 705,000 BlackBerry subscribers in the fiscal second quarter, bringing the total to about 6.2 million. Revenue jumped 34% to $658.5 million from $490.1 million. RIM forecast fiscal third-quarter revenue in the range of $780 million to $820 million, and said it expects to add about 800,000 BlackBerry subscribers. (RIM's Profit Surges on BlackBerry Subscriber Growth) 6.2M BlackBerry
Donations for higher education are doubling every decade. Current giving stands at nearly $26 billion annually. Columbia University is expected to announce a $4 billion capital campaign, ending in 2011, the largest in U.S. higher education. About 50 colleges have announced campaigns to raise $1 billion or more, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. (Columbia Sets $4 Billion Goal For Fund-Raiser) $26 Billion
Sales at major luxury-goods groups are expected to reach a record of nearly $200 billion by year end -- higher than when sales of shoes, watches, dresses and other luxury items previously peaked five years ago, according to luxury consultancy Intercorporate. (With Good Times Rolling, Labels Have The Luxury of Planning for Bad Ones) $200 Billion 

An estimated 1.5 million Americans, including some 600,000 children, experience allergic reactions to peanuts. With most of the annual 150 food-allergy deaths blamed on peanuts, many schools have created peanut-free zones or gone totally "peanut free." The number of children with peanut allergies has doubled from 1997 to 2002, according to a study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. (Taming Peanut Allergy Takes Researchers Down Uncertain Road)

1.5M Allergies
Revenue from Internet-music sales tripled in 2005 to $1.1 billion, making up 6% of all music sales, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. (Songwriters, Record Firms Agree On U.K. Royalty for Downloads) $1.1 Billion
HP research shows more than 3 million PC gamers in North America. The gaming PC market's revenue is estimated at nearly $1 billion, according Enderle Group. Voodoo gaming PCs sell for an average $5,000, compared with about $800 for the average consumer PC. (H-P Plans to Buy Voodoo, Start Push Into Gaming) $1 Billion

Among the Dow's 30 components, the best-performing stock in the past 6 Altria Group, parent company of Philip Morris USA, the nation's largest cigarette maker. Since January 2000, when the industrials hit their record of 11722.98, Altria's share price has increased by more than a factor of three, from $24 a share to $76.97. (Hold Your Breath)

Though there are nearly 7,000 hedge funds, about 80% of the industry's assets are controlled by 125 firms, according to Hedge Fund Research. (Hedge-Fund Managers Make Midair Pitches) 125 
Hedge Funds
In 2005, only 6% of the $3.9 billion LED market was devoted to illumination. But the Department of Energy forecasts that by 2025, LEDs could save $15 billion a year in residential electricity costs while cutting energy consumption for residential lighting in half. (LEDs Come Home To Ceilings, Stairs) $15 Billion

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