Boom Times for an Explosive Industry

|July 3, 2024
Set off fireworks to celebrate new year.

The Fourth of July is almost here.

Tomorrow, markets will be closed to celebrate America’s independence.

Trading of stocks and bonds halted early today… presumably to allow Wall Streeters enough time to beat the traffic out to the Hamptons.

And yet, here we are, toiling away in our office in Baltimore.

It isn’t all bad, though.

When the tickers stop ticking, there’s more time to satisfy our other curiosities.

There’s some interesting data tucked away in the various nooks and crannies of the web.

Case in point…

Did you know that the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) has kept a record of fireworks-related injury statistics going all the way back to 1976?

Each year, the group provides a handy figure that measures the number of firework-related injuries versus the amount of fireworks purchased in the U.S.

It’s recorded as “Injuries per 100,000 Pounds.”

To be clear, that’s per 100,000 pounds of fireworks consumed, as reported by the U.S. International Trade Commission. (So, no, it doesn’t include any of the illicit munitions that the nation’s dads got from that sketchy guy at work.)

In case you were wondering, fireworks have indeed gotten safer over the years. Much safer, as the chart below shows.

Firework-Related Injuries

But more to the point of this publication…

During the past two decades, the business of fireworks has… well… exploded.

Between 2002 and 2022, our annual firework consumption more than doubled from 190.1 million pounds to 461.7 million pounds.

In 2022, that added up to a whopping $2.7 billion in sales for firework manufacturers.

That means that – for now, at least – fireworks are a bigger business than OpenAI.

And even with inflation still raging, the APA predicts 2024 will be yet another banner year for firework sales.

There’s something reassuring about that, no? Especially in the wake of last week’s big debate.

Yes, our politics may divide us…

And rising prices may dispirit us…

But nothing can dampen our shared American enthusiasm for blowing stuff up.

Alex Moschina
Alex Moschina

Alex Moschina is the associate publisher of Manward Press. A gifted writer, editor and financial researcher, Alex’s career in publishing began more than a decade ago when he worked at one of the world’s leading providers of academic research and reference materials. Alex first cut his teeth in the realm of investing when he joined the team at White Cap Research in 2010. There he was charged with covering emerging market trends and investment opportunities. A stint as senior managing editor and editorial director at the prestigious Oxford Club followed. A frequent speaker at conferences and events, Alex has led educational workshops across the U.S. and Canada.