26 charts that surprised me in 2013

A chart is a powerful thing.

As perhaps the fastest way to make an argument backed by data, charts boast incredible capacity to explain and persuade. And while that also means they can be incredibly misleading, charts have clarified my thinking on a number of big issues this year.

Here, in no certain order, are some of the most important ones I’ve created, seen, tweeted, and retweeted. (I tweet a lot of charts. Follow me!)

Yes, the US economy is slowly getting better.

Screen Shot 2013-12-13 at 3.41.10 PM
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Europe looks like it could fall into a Japan-style deflation trap, just as Japan may be escaping.

Japanese-inflation-Euro-zone-inflation_chartbuilder

In Ireland, mortgage payments are apparently optional.

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(Deutsche Bank)

The recovery in the US auto industry has been pretty astounding.

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 1.11.19 PM

And the reason why is that credit is flowing to the auto loan market via the asset-backed securities market.

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 10.25.33 AM
(Moody's)

Automotive debt and student loans remain areas where US consumers are leveraging up.

Screen Shot 2013-12-13 at 3.49.58 PM

The great rotation from bonds into stocks finally happened. (Investors have hid in bonds since the crisis.)

Screen Shot 2013-12-13 at 3.58.44 PM

This whole US domestic energy thing is actually happening too.

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 9.26.35 AM
(Citigroup)

Mexico has a giant diabetes problem.

Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 3.48.13 PM
(OECD)

And, perhaps it’s just a coincidence, but Mexico also seems to really enjoy its soft drinks.

Coca-Cola-products-consumption-per-capita-8-fl-oz-servings-_chartbuilder

India is a terrifying place to drive.

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 3.04.26 PM

Brits eat the most cereal.

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 3.32.44 PM
(General Mills)

Danish girls are the drunkest form of 15-year-old.

Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 3.53.04 PM
(OECD)

The US might have kicked its credit card addiction.

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 11.07.13 AM

People in Turkey are some of the world’s most hard-working.

Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 10.51.15 AM
(OECD)

Greece and Spain are neck-and-neck in a race for the most awful economy in Europe.

Screen Shot 2013-12-13 at 6.18.41 PM

American families made more in 1989 than they did in 2012.

Screen Shot 2013-12-13 at 6.31.15 PM

Spain still has a tremendously screwed-up banking system.

Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 4.43.34 PM

Finland is bitcoin crazy.

Screen Shot 2013-08-20 at 12.20.41 PM
(BBVA)

The US wants to take the title of “world’s largest wine consumer” from France.

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 3.31.35 PM
(Morgan Stanley)

Inner Mongolia is way richer than I knew.

Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 3.36.25 PM
(Credit Suisse)

British incomes have fallen way behind the neighbors.

yanofsky_household-income-oecd_002
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Russian consumers have a ton of household debt.

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 11.23.44 AM
(Moody's)

Israel has one of the hottest housing markets in world.

Screen Shot 2013-10-24 at 10.40.17 AM

The Federal Reserve’s bond buying now dwarves China’s holdings of US government bonds.

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 3.09.38 PM

Aflac—the US insurer with that cute spokesduck—dominates the market for cancer insurance in Japan.

aflac-cancer-insurance-market-share
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