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Relief checks news summary | 27 April 2023

Negotiations over the debt ceiling continue this week as the Fed prepares another rate hike. How both are likely to impact the economic outlook and inflation...

US Inflation Relief: Latest Updates

Headlines | Thursday, 27 April 2023

- First Republican Bank has lost more than ninety percent of its value since March 

- Median home selling prices increased 2.6 percent in March 

- Fed looks set to implement one more rate hike at next meeting in May

- The rate of families with an unemployed member fell three percent from 2021 to 2022 to 4.7 percent 

- Workers in Alaska, New Jersey, and Wyominghave been hit hardest by layoffs this year

- Federal Tax Day has passed for most, but counties in eight states got a extension

- Housing prices continue to fall, is it a good time to buy?

- Various states will continue to issue inflation relief checks and generous tax refunds in April 

Related stories:
How does age affect monthly Social Security checks?

How much you receive from Social Security depends on several factors, such as age. This is an important consideration in determining your monthly checks.

A worker can start receiving their Social Security retirement benefits at age 62, but if they begin receiving benefits before full retirement age, their benefits are reduced. If the worker decides to wait until they are 70 years old, they will receive more money.
What will happen with McCarthy’s debt ceiling bill in the Senate?

The House has passed Kevin McCarthy’s bill on raising the debt ceiling after Republican lawmakers unified behind the measure. McCarthy’s win would strengthen the Speaker’s bargaining position with the White House regarding the cap.

The proposal now goes to the Senate, where the Democrat majority has vowed to throw it out. This report tells us that that they will not compromise as far as paying the country’s debt is concerned.

Artificial Intelligence is already costing jobs

Artificial Intelligence is already taking away jobs, but, at the moment, not in the way people usually fear that they would- like automating their tasks and functions.

The AI race is in full gear, and tech companies are trying to get ahead of the competition by spending money they are saving by firing employees into developing the technology.

Meta, Microsoft, and Alphabet are all set to pour big bucks into AI following job cuts that totaled 40,000 between the three companies.

Buoyed by tech shares, markets have best day in months

Meta's positive quarterly earnings and softer-than-expected gross domestic product figures helped prop up markets, leading them to their best day in months.

Meta’s shares are up 170% since November, when it hit a low of $89. according to CNBC. 

First-quarter GDP rose at a 1.1% annual rate, about half of economists’ 2% forecast, leading some investors to believe that the Federal Reserve could soon wrap up its tightening campaign.
How does McCarthy’s debt ceiling bill passed in Congress affect Medicaid and SNAP?

On Wednesday, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to pass the bill to raise the debt limit, cut spending, and reverse key pieces of President Joe Biden’s agenda.

While the bill does not include cuts to Social Security or Medicare to address the debt ceiling, it does include a measure against Medicaid and food stamps.

This report tells us how the bill could affect these two benefits.

Regulators worried about regional banks' stability 4 months before March crisis

Four months before the second-largest bank failure in US history, key banking regulators worried about the dangers large regional lenders posed to financial stability, according to an exclusive report by Reuters.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation officials told an advisory panel on bank failures in November that "large portions" of regional banks' deposit balances were uninsured and warned of "knock-on effects" for other banks.

FDIC chairman Martin Gruenberg said at the meeting that after the financial crisis of 2008 regulators had fixated on making the biggest banks safe.

Officials had yet to do the same for regional banks, some of which had grown to considerable size and complexity, said Gruenberg.

Banking regulators have come under criticism for failing to stave off the crisis triggered by a run on Silicon Valley Bank, most of whose deposit base was uninsured. The Fed and FDIC are expected to release reports on Friday on their supervision of Silicon Valley and Signature Bank.

The November meeting shows, however, that FDIC officials were aware of challenges they could face in handling regional bank failures but key issues remained unresolved ahead of March's failures.

Complete list of Walmart supermarkets that will close in 2023 in each state

Mass layoffs are continuing in the United States. 

With inflation cutting into purchasing power, general uncertainty in the market, and the Federal Reserve hiking interest rates, some stock prices are starting to fall. While 2022 saw the second-largest increase in new jobs in the history of the country, 2023 could tell a completely different story.

The initial response to these economic conditions from the tech sector was mass layoffs. Now, the world’s largest employer, Walmart, will follow suit by closing down various locations to cut costs and improve its financial performance.

This report gives a complete list of Walmart supermarkets that will close in 2023 in each state
Charging Bull


Wall Street indexes rally after strong earnings reports

All three main Wall Street indexes were up on Thursday with Nasdaq leading the pack. Investors’ concerns over the US economy slowing were overshadowed by strong quarterly earnings reports. Meta, parent company of Facebook, forecast revenue above estimates helping to send its share value to its highest level in more than a year, jumping 13.9%.

Along with upbeat numbers from Alphabet, parent company of Google, and Comcast, the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 287.89 points, or 2.43% by the close of trading. The S&P 500 communication services index got a boost too, rising 5.5% for its biggest one-day percentage gain since February 2022.

The S&P 500 as a whole was up 79.36 points, or 1.96%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 524.29 points, or 1.57%.
AT&T data throttling compensation: How much do customers receive and how to apply?

In 2019, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settled with AT&T to provide $60 million in refunds after the company misled its customers with unlimited data plans in 2014.

According to the government agency, the phone company charged thousands of customers for unlimited data plans when, in reality, it throttled their data speeds once customers reached a certain amount in a given billing cycle, resulting in exceptionally slow browsing speeds, with apps that were virtually impossible to use.

AT&T put the money into a fund to provide partial refunds to current customers, while those who have already left the company will receive a refund check. However, AT&T has not been able to contact all former customers who were affected, so those who were customers of the company are urged to claim payment.

Here's how to see if you're eligible and how to make your claim.
The key dates for Student loan forgiveness in 2023

Many Americans are saddled with student loans that they have been paying off for years. Over 40 million borrowers are paying off their debt, with the average balance standing at more than $37,000, according to Education Data.

The government of President Joe Biden has begun rolling out programs to ease this burden, and for those who wish to take advantage of these benefits, there are some dates to watch out for so as to avoid missing crucial deadlines for actions that need to be taken. 

Read more in our full coverage on when one can expect the Supreme Court to announce its decision.

Don't miss out on unclaimed tax refund

The 2019 tax returns came due during the pandemic, and many people may have overlooked or forgotten about these refunds. We want taxpayers to claim these refunds, but time is running out… We recommend taxpayers start soon to make sure they don’t miss out

Danny Werfel, IRS commissioner
Unclaimed tax refunds: How to know if the IRS owes you money and how to claim it

Filers for the tax year of 2019 should check if they have filed their tax return with billions of dollars still unclaimed, the IRS reports.

In an announcement earlier this month, the IRS said nearly $1.5 billion in refunds for tax year 2019 are still unclaimed. Around 1.5 million taxpayers are eligible. The average median refund is $893.

Read more on how to claim it
How to apply for the $1,500 mortgage aid for Miami residents

New financial aid has been approved in Miami-Dade, Florida.

County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava has announced new financial relief for homeowners who are behind on their monthly mortgage payments. Cava said this new program is expected to provide assistance to 15,000 eligible families.

This report tells us who are qualified to receive the one-time payment of $1,500, which must be used to pay past due bills, as well as homeowners association dues and property insurance, among other property-related expenses.

Average weekly 30-yr fixed mortgage rate up slightly, 15-yr ticks down

Average weekly 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate rose for a second week, while the 15-year fixed rate dropped. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate advanced 0.04% to 6.42% for the week ending 27 April.The average 15-year fixed mortgage rate decreased 0.05% to 5.71%.

Homeowners feel trapped by lower mortgage rates

Many homeowners who want to sell their homes are choosing to postpone their plans because of mortgage rate concerns, according to Yahoo Finance.

Approximately 82% said they felt trapped by the current low mortgage rate on their home, a poll of over 1,200 potential sellers in February found. More than half planned to wait until rates fell further before selling, while a quarter planned to sell soon for personal reasons, despite feeling locked in.

While the feeling of being trapped spanned generations, younger generations felt the most stuck in their home and current mortgage, with 97% of Gen Zers, 87% of millennials, and 87% of Gen Xers citing this sentiment.
Child and Dependent Care Credit: Who qualifies for up to $2,100 in tax credit and how to claim it

The Child and Dependent Care Credit is designed to ease the burden of childcare for working people. If you have to pay to ensure a child or dependent is looked after while you are at work, you will most likely be able to claim the credit.

The credit can cover up to 35% of work-related care expenses with the lowest amount offered standing at 20% of care costs. The upper limit of the cost covered is $3,000 for one qualifying person or $6,000 for two or more qualifying persons.

Read more
How does part-time work affect Social Security payments?

If you work part-time for part of your career it is unlikely to count towards calculating your Social Security payments. This is because the amount of your benefit depends on your average earnings over your highest 35 years of work which part-time work is unlikely to reach.

It is possible to work part-time once you have retired but you need to be aware of its possible unintended effects.
Social Security Checks: amounts and mailing dates in 2023

Supplemental Security Incomerecipients receive their payments on the first day of each month or the last day of certain months if the first day falls on a weekend. Those who began receiving their Social Security payments before May 1997 receive their benefits on the third day of each month. All other Social Security checks are sent based on the beneficiary’s birthday.

These are the payment dates for Social Security benefits in the remaining months of this 2023...

First Republic Bank in for another tough day on Wall Street

Millions of First Republic Bank stocks have been sold, leading the price to drop dramatically over the last few days. 

The San Fransisco-based bank has seen a major percent of its deposits pulled out over investor concerns that the bank's balance sheets showed signs of distress.

The stock price closed at $5.69, down ninety-five percent from six months ago. Overnight the value of the stock increased slightly in pre-market futures, but those trends may not hold if when the market opens more investors continue to sell their stock.

Number of available jobs continues to surpass number of unemployed workers

Across the United States, there are more job openings than there are unemployed workers to fill them. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has completed a new analysis that looks at the distribution of job openings compared to the number of unemployed workers. 

The BLS reported in February that "there were 5.9 million people classified as unemployed and 9.9 million job openings." States where there were the lowest number of workers compared to the number of jobs, were North Dakota and South Dakota, where there were 0.3 workers for each job. There was not a single state where the number of unemployed people was greater than the number of available jobs. 

States where the numbers were most aligned included  New York and Washington where the ratio is one for one.
States that still have rounds of stimulus checks: payments of up to $1,500

Democrats passed a sweeping covid-19 relief bill in 2021 named the American Rescue Plan to keep the recovery from the pandemic going. In conjunction with previous packages passed under the previous administration, these helped the US economy experience it’s fastest rebound from a recession in history.

However, the disruptions caused by pandemic and households flush with cash caused imbalances that helped drive up prices. After the third round of federal stimulus checks, those worth $1,400 per eligible American, the federal purse strings were tightened and other programs to help families cope were allowed to expire.

So, states and local communities stepped up using pandemic relief funds and bumper tax revenue to send their own relief to residents. Most have wound down now as inflation wanes but there are still some that are sending payments to help ease the hardship families are still facingHere’s a look at where payments are still being issued.

First Republic Bank stock drop triggers concerns over recession

Later this week, the Bureau of Economic Analysis will release the Q1 2023 GDP report. A recession is defined by economists as two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth.

In Q4 2022, GDP grew 2.6 percent, which means that if the report for Q1 2023 shows negative GDP growth, it will not be enough evidence to declare the economy has entered a recession. 

Economic uncertainty has rattled financial markets over the last month, particularly after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. The investor led bank run created concerns for investors in other banks, like First Republic Bank. Just this year Frist Republic has seen a loss of forty-percnt of deposits as those holding more than the FDIC insured amount of $250,000 take their money elsewhere. Now, the stock of First Republic is tanking, and so far the federal government has shown no signs that they plan to intervene.
Relief checks for up to $400 in May 2023: Who qualifies?

Some residents in Chelsea, Massachusetts, will receive a relief check of up to $400 on May 15. It will be the third and final payment of a food and utility subsidy program which distributed the first two on March 15 and April 15.

The project, known as the Chelsea Eats program, is sending the checks ranging from $200 to $400 to 738 eligible households. The recipients have been receiving the subsidy through debit cards which were handed out in March. 

Read our full coverage for details on who can expect a check in May.

Hello and welcome to AS USA's live blog on inflation relief and other financial news. 

First Republic Bank's stock value continued to drop yesterday as the bank struggles with a major withdraw of deposits. 

Housing prices continued to climb in March, with very little change being seen in the market compared to last year around the same time. 

Millions are awaiting their tax refund, while millions more who received an extension from the IRS have a few more months to file their return.

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