Relief checks 2023 | Summary news 21 April
Finance news: live updates
Headlines: Friday 21 April, 2023
- Fed looks set to implement one more rate hike at next meeting in May
- Mortgage rates tick up. 30-yr fixed-rate average at 6.39%
- Wall Street stocks drop on Thursday after disappointing quarterly reports, concerns of debt ceiling
- 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
- Miss tax deadline? Find out why you should still file as soon as possible and how.
- Housing prices continue to fall, is it a good time to buy?
- Social Security and Medicare Trustees warn of respective funds depleted by 2031 and 2033
- Various states will continue to issue inflation relief checks and generous tax refunds in April
- Social Security April payment schedule: when can you expect your payment?
Unemployment claims trend upward once again
Initial unemployment claims rose by 5,000 to 245,000 last week, which marks a 12 percent increase over the figure recorded a year ago. For the first time in over a year, the trend line is ticking upward, meaning that a greater number of workers are claiming to receive unemployment benefits. This could be a sign that the labor market is loosening as worker layoffs increase as well.
States that saw the greatest increases in initial claims for the week ending on 8 April, were California (+10,640), New Jersey (+3,378), Texas (+2,981), Pennsylvania (+2,921), and Connecticut (+1,619). On the opposite side of the spectrum, initial claims fell by the greatest number in Ohio (-3,138), Indiana (-926), Missouri (-552), Michigan (-516), and Georgia (-468).
If your application for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is approved, you must wait five months before you can receive your first SSDI benefit payment. This means you would receive your first payment in the sixth full month after the date we find that your disability began.
There is no waiting period if your disability results from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and you are approved for SSDI benefits on or after July 23, 2020.
One of the main US government food aid programs is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). It provides low-income families with benefits to buy food through an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card.
Despite being a federal program, SNAP is administered by the states, so each one has different requirements and benefits. New York Governor Kathy Hochul recently launched the Fresh2You initiative, which will double what SNAP recipients can buy.
In early March, Chair of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, provided his semi-annual update to Congress where he expressed a willingness on the part of the Fed to increase interest rates faster, should officials at the central bank deem the action necessary.
After Chair Powell’s remarks came the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and a series of other bank failures that created a level of uncertainty within financial markets. In part, these bank failures were a response to higher interest rates, and later in the month, the Fed opted for a 0.25 percent increase in the Federal Funds Rate.
After comments from the Chair about a faster pace of rate hikes, the quarter-percent increase was seen as cautionary, with the Fed not wanting to move too quickly given the uncertainty in financial markets. Throughout the month, the economy added 236,000 jobs, leading the national unemployment rate to fall by 0.1 percent to 3.5 percent. Now, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is reporting that average prices rose only 0.1 percent in March, down from the increases of 0.5 and 0.4 percent seen in January and February, respectively.
Read our full coverage for details on how these events and data points will inform the Fed's choice to increase rates next month.
Federal Reserve set to hike rates at least once more in May
Federal Reserve policymakers will have their next two-day meeting starting 2 May where they will reportedly move forward with another rate hike. However, key data over the next week and a half, in particular a survey of bank lending data, will help determine if that will be the end of the aggressive fiscal tightening that began in March last year to bring inflation under control.
The last increase in March ended up being less than expected after Silicon Valley Bank collapsed, starting a banking crisis as customers moved deposits from smaller banks to larger financial institutions. Fed officials have been in close contact with bank executives since taking emergency measures to shore up confidence in the banking system.
"There was some turbulence...and it kind of worked itself out. Our team started asking bankers lots of questions. Are you seeing deposits leave? Are you getting elevated calls?...There was heightened alert," Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic told Reuters. Asked whether Fed officials had heard anything out of the norm, Bostic responded: "No, we really haven't."
Americans across the nation have benefited from programs to help cope with inflation. Some states and communities are still sending payments. Here’s where…
Republicans have presented a proposal to reduce spending in order to secure their votes to raise the debt ceiling by $1.5 trillion. The 320-page plan dubbed ‘Limit, Save, Grow, Act of 2023′ would cut spending by $4.5 trillion over the next ten years.
Among the features of the proposal, it would block the Biden administration’s plans to provide up to $20,000 in student debt forgiveness. Furthermore, it would hamstring the Department of Education’s ability plans to provide relief through other policies and take actions further actions.
IRS relief from penalties for first-time late filers
Did you miss the Income tax filing deadline? Everyone desires a second chance, right? You might be eligible for penalty relief from the IRS if it was your first time.
After you retire, you might receive payments for work you did before you started to receive Social Security benefits. Usually, those payments will not affect your Social Security benefit if they are for work done before you retired.
Digging through the sofa to find some spare change? Well you might be able to get a lot more than a few coins. The IRS announced that nearly 1.5 million people across the country have unclaimed refunds for tax year 2019. Here’s who can get it and the deadline to claim it.
Wall Street stocks drop on disappointing quarterly reports; concerns of debt ceiling
All three major Wall Street indexes were down on Thursday after poor quarterly reports. Those included the lowest quarterly gross margin in two years by Tesla and AT&T missing revenue and free cash flow estimates for the first quarter. That sent their shares down 9.7% and 10.4% respectively. The Dow dropped 0.33%, the S&P 500 was down 0.6% and the Nasdaq slumped 0.8%.
Markets are also beginning to get nervous about the possibility that the US could default on its debt if a negotiated agreement isn’t reached by June. House Republicans finally presented their demands to approve a $1.5 trillion increase to the debt ceiling. Among the proposals that would cut $4.5 trillion in spending over ten years would be the cancellation of President Biden’s student loan debt forgiveness program. The White House has said the GOP is a non-starter.
Average weekly mortgage rates tick up for first time in over a month
Average weekly mortgage rates rose for the first time after dropping five weeks in a row. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate ticked up to 6.39% for the week ending 20 April.
Across the Golden State, many residents are struggling to keep up with the rapidly increasing cost of rent and housing. From 1986 to 2023, the lowest rental vacancy rate recorded was 3.6 percent in 2016. This indicator looks at the percent of total rental properties on the market that are available and without tenants. Last month, this rate reached the second lowest level recorded, clocking in at 3.9 percent.
Read our full coverage for details on how the low supply of vacant rentals impacts prices in the market.
The United States offers a number of social programs to aid low-income residents, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which focuses on food assistance.
SNAP is a federal program run by the US Department of Agriculture but administered by the states who usually depend on county governments to enroll beneficiaries and manage the program. Households receiving SNAP are sent an EBT card, which functions like a debit card, and each month money is added to an account associated with the card that can only be used to purchase certain food and household products. The amount varies depending on the number of people who live in the home and the state in which the beneficiary lives.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government approved an increase of $95 for SNAP recipients to better provide crisis relief. However, this increase ended on 1 March after almost three years. As inflation continues to drive up food prices, these dollars are sorely missed by many households enrolled in SNAP.
Read our full coverage for details on which SNAP beneficiaries will see a small increase in their benefit amount.
The deadline to file an income tax return and pay any taxes due for 2022 was 18 April 2023. Yes, that date has come and gone and if you made the deadline, odds are that you are waiting for your refund if you haven’t received it already.
However, if you missed the deadline and forgot to file for an extension, don’t panic just yet. You may fall into one of four categories, those who aren’t required to file a tax return, are owed a refund, got an automatic extension due to a disaster declaration or you owe taxes that still need to be paid.
While the 18 April tax deadline applies to most taxpayers around the United States, certain filers in counties affected by severe weather events in eight states will be exempt for varying amounts of time. They have been given automatic extensions that range from 15 May to 16 October 2023.
The counties in question are located in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, New York and Tennessee.
Tax filers will be eager to know if and when they will be receiving a tax refund. The IRS will be sifting through the tens of millions of tax returns on a first-come-first-served basis.
Typically the IRS is able to distribute a tax refundwithin 21 days so long as the return is filed electronically. Those who file with paper may have to wait up to six months to receive their refund.
President Biden touts job creation under his watch
Unemployment is at 3.5 percent, near a 50-year low. And all — for minorities as well. For African unemployment is — African American unemployment is down low. Hispanic. Across the board.
Nearly 800,000 good-paying manufacturing jobs. The fastest growth in 40 years. (Applause.)
Last year, economists, business leaders, and some politicians pointed to “The Great Resignation” as a reason to worry about the tightness of the labor market. With unemployment hitting a historic low and the demand for labor remaining high, some workers opted to quit their job to find a new one that offered better pay or conditions. The rate of voluntary separations, or quits, has started to fall, and now layoffs (or involuntary separations) are on the rise.
Compared to two the first two months of 2022, quits have fallen by 9.2 percent, while layoffs have increased by thirteen percent.
Read our full coverage for the latest on which states have seen the greatest number of layoffs so far this year.
The latest report on inflation in the United States showed the pace of rising prices slowing, that is good news for Americans who have been struggling with a higher cost of living. Fortunately for the roughly 70 million recipients of Social Security benefits the Social Security Administration automatically raises monthly benefits to account for inflation. Here's a look at payments in May.
Welcome to AS USA’s live blog on the latest financial news
Tax Day has come and gone. The deadline to submit your tax returns and pay any taxes due to the IRS was 18 April. If you missed the deadline, you still have until November to file and the sooner the better to avoid incurring further penalties and interest.
We'll bring you information that can help and if you already filed, changes to keep in mind for next year and get ready early.
Plus we will give you the latest figures on the economy and other financial news.