Research is the key to selecting great stocks. In order to pursue new ideas and trends, we drill down on DEMOGRAPHICS which directly affect jobs, family creations, housing numbers and retail sales in general. Following the devastating recession of 2008, average US birth rates dropped about 2%. This is normal behavior. Since the recovery began in 2009, Americans are again forming families. Birth rates are finally rebounding after substantial contraction…if you’ll excuse the pun.
However, when you analyze the birth statistics via socio-economic groups, you get a different story. For instance, the birth rate for Hispanics has declined by 22% reflecting the reality that Hispanics were disproportionately hurt by the Recession. We do expect their birth rate to rebound but their total births may never totally recover to former heights. Even so, the fact that birth rates in 2011 were steady for women in their early 30’s and actually increased for women over age 35, gives us more confidence that America will regain and retain its birth rate advantage as the economic recovery lifts birth rates for women in their 20’s.
Our optimism that the US will regain its birth rate advantage is also based on the history of the total fertility rate which dipped below replacement level in the mid-1970s and then recovered. Moreover, the percentage comparison to the pre-recession birth rate 4 years ago reveals that the current episode is very mild compared to the past.
Speaking of which, our Bedell Frazier team has been overachieving lately in the diaper derby with Mike Frazier’s TWINS plus baby Brooke…and now Meredith’s TWINS born today. Details to follow as soon as they are named! We can tell you this: Twin A is a girl while Twin B is a boy and they are beautiful! Congratulations Meredith and Alan!