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Inflation Relief Checks: summary news 8 December

Update:
Financial news: Latest updates

Financial news: Latest updates

Headlines: Thursday, 8 December 2022

​​​​​​​- California could become the first state to enact a windfall profits taxon gas companies 

Supplemental Security Income recipients will be thefirst to see the COLA applied to their checks 

Medicare Open Enrollment ended, 7 December: What you need to know about Part B

- A strike by railroad workers has been outlawed: what was passed by Congress? 

- California continues distributing Middle-Class Tax Refund, with payments already benefiting 19 million residents 

- Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell suggests that elevated interest rates will remain

- Experts predicting a significant market adjustment in house prices​​​​​​​

- Some groups will receive two Social Security checks this month

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But will that always be the case? Speaking here on Yahoo! Finance, Lyn Alden Investment Strategy Founder Lyn Aldenoutlines what could happened next for Bitcoin...

Experts warn that Bitcoin could plunge to $5,000 in 2023

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Experts warn that Bitcoin could plunge to $5,000 in 2023

This price of Bitcoin soared during the pandemic, hitting an all-time high of $69,044.77 on 10 November 2021. Since that point the cryptocurrency’s price has been on a steady decline, falling to just over $17,000 on Monday.

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According to Zillow, what will be cheaper in 2023, renting a house or buying it?

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According to Zillow, what will be cheaper in 2023, renting a house or buying it?

Renting or buying a house? Which will be cheaper next year? Here are the predictions for 2023, based on a forecast by real estate market company Zillow.

Will 2023 be a good time to buy a house according to the experts?

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Will 2023 be a good time to buy a house according to the experts?

Two main factors have put the brakes on the US housing market over the past few months. The Federal Reserve’s aggressive rate hikes to fight inflation have helped to drive up mortgage interest rates on top of home prices increasing at a breakneck speed over the previous two years.

This could create a situation in 2023 where homebuyers will be better positioned when negotiating the purchase price when hunting for a home. Here’s a look at what the experts are saying to expect in the coming year.

Economic indicators are moving in the direction Federal Reserve intended, but slowly

The Federal Reserve will meet next week to determine its policy to bring inflation under control. While inflation has been dropping recently it is still nearly 6 percent above the central bank's target. 

Fed chair Jerome Powell indicated that the pace of increases to interest rate could slow at their next meeting after jacking it with four consecutive 75-basis-point hikes as economic indicators are showing progress. However, the speed of the advances may mean that the higher cost of borrowing may need to be kept in place for longer.

Keystone pipeline shut down after leak in Nebraska

Canada's TC Energy, which operates the Keystone pipeline that runs from the Alberta tar sands oil fields to the Texas Gulf Coast initiated an emergency shutdown after a leak was detected in Nebraska. The company had curtailed the amount of oil flowing through the pipeline, which transports 622,000 barrels per day, three weeks ago after reporting due to some unspecified severe weather-related incidents.

Price of gasoline falls below where it was a year ago

The average price of gasoline in the US fell below where it was a year ago on Thursday. The current national average according to AAA is just under $3.33 per gallon.

Mortgage rates continue to go lower

Mortgage rates have decreased for four straight weeks dropping three quarters of a point from their recent peak. The trend has been driven by worries that the US economy will enter a period of lackluster growth. 

According to Freddie Mac the current rate US weekly average as of 8 December is 6.33% for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. Despite the largest decrease since 2008 there hasn't been a major rise in demand among homebuyers.

Which are the states with the highest disability benefits?

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Which are the states with the highest disability benefits?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers two programs to assist people with disabilities in the United States. Before reaching retirement, one in four workers in the US will claim disability benefits through the SSA.

How much does the average Social Security recipient receive? Full table

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How much does the average Social Security recipient receive? Full table

Alongside retired workers, people receiving retirement benefits are the two groups of recipients that receive the highest average benefit. This isn’t too difficult to work out why. While disabled benefits are available to everyone kept out of work by a disability, retirement payment averages can include disability payments if the recipient qualifies. A 30-year old would be able to receive disability payments but not retirement payments.

A table explains the breakdown.

Gas prices in US continue to fall

Prices at the pump are now lower than they were a year ago.

The national average price for regular gasoline stood at $3.33 a gallon on Thursday, according to AAA. A year ago, the average price at the pump was $3.34.

At their peak, gasoline prices were just over $5 a gallon in mid-June. 

What is the Medicare Part B premium for 2022 and how much will it be in 2023?

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Many seniors are breathing a sigh of relief after the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMM) announced that the premium for Medicare Part B would be lowered from $170.10 paid by beneficiaries in 2022 to $164.90 in 2023.

Open enrollment for Medicare ended Wednesday, 7 December, meaning the window has closed to decide on coverage for 2023.

Maite Knorr-Evans leads you through the details.

Will the Fed Reserve continue to increase interest rates?

Throughout much of 2022 the Federal Reserve's number one priority has been to tackle the high rate of inflation that is causing real pain for Americans. To do so, the central bank has instituted a series of interest rates hikes, designed to make borrowing more expensive and cool the economy. However, after the first signed that inflation is beginning to slow, will the Fed continue with this tactic?

Will Social Security recipients get an extra $200 a month in 2023?

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Will Social Security recipients get an extra $200 a month in 2023?

In October, the average monthly benefit for Social Security recipients was $1,676.53. Next year, when the Social Security Administration applies the 2023 Cost-of-living adjustment, that amount could grow by around $146 to $1,822 a month.

This increase is short of the $200 some retirees had hoped to see their benefits rise by, as many seniors on a fixed income struggle to keep up with inflation.

Expectation and inflation go hand-in-hand

Inflation has gone down in the US in the past few months, from a 40-year-high of 9.1% in June to 7.7% in October. However, consumers aren’t convinced that inflation is actually on the wane. According to USA Today Money, these expectations may end up to be self-perpetuating. The belief that inflation will continue and the actual inflation rate could end up reinforcing each other.

Are real estate prices dropping in New York City according experts?

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Are real estate prices dropping in New York City according experts?

New York is one of the most expensive cities in the US. According to Property Club NYC, the boroughs with the lowest median house price were the Bronx ($519,000), Staten Island ($550,000), and Queens ($605,000). Brooklyn and Manhattan topped the list with a median sale price of $900,000 and $1.16 million, respectively. This compares to a median house price average of $454,900 for the whole nation.

However, it looks like these prices are set to drop as the nation deals with an overinflated market as well as high mortgage rates, at least in comparison to the last two decades.

Fortune puts together a threat on housing market trends for 2023

Fortune has taken a look at a new report by News Lambert, which examined thirteen housing market models and determined that if most trends hold, prices will continue to fall in 2023. 

After the pandemic led to higher-than-usual demand in the housing market, the Fed's move to increase interest rates has decreased the number of buyers looking to buy. When rates go up, mortgages become more expensive. 

The outlet reports that between June and September, average housing prices have fallen around 2.2 percent, a trend that is expected to continue. Some of the more "bearish" market analysts whose models were examined are predicting a twenty percent drop in prices next year if interest rates remain at their current level or are further increased. 

How does the government calculate how much my monthly social security benefits will be when I retire?

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How does the government calculate how much my monthly social security benefits will be when I retire?

In October, the Social Security Administration (SSA)  released the 2023 Cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) of 9.7 percent that will be applied to benefit amounts. 

There is one group the COLA will impact less than other beneficiaries and that is workers who will begin to receive benefits next year. Will Gittins and Maite Knorr-Evansexplain exactly how the SSA will identify your benefit amount

Welcome to AS USA!

Good morning, we'll be bringing you all the latest information on Social Security payments, interest rate adjustments and much more...