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Relief checks 2023 | Summary news 23 April

Follow along with the latest news on the US economy, inflation relief and changes to SNAP benefits as the week comes to an end.

Headlines: Sunday 23 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%

- 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 schedulewhen can you expect your payment?

Related stories:

Credit Suisse bled $68 million in deposits in first quarter

Credit Suisse said it tallied $68 billion in net asset outflows in the first quarter, adding that outflows were continuing even in the wake of the bank's state-engineered rescue by UBS.

"These outflows have moderated but have not yet reversed as of April 24, 2023," Credit Suisse said.

It also said it had experienced significant withdrawals of cash deposits as well as non-renewal of maturing time deposits. Customer deposits declined by 67 billion Swiss francs in the first quarter.

Return to pandemic hunger levels could signal impending recession

More than half of the shelves at the Atlanta Community Food Bank are bare, in part because of supply-chain issues, but mostly because demand for food assistance is as high as it was during the COVID-19 pandemic, the nonprofit’s executives said. They said two in five people seeking food assistance in the Atlanta region this year have not done so before.

“Nobody anticipated this,” said Debra Shoaf, chief financial officer of the private charity, which distributes food to the hungry in 29 Georgia counties. Shoaf says she’s hearing similar reports across the United States. “We’re back up to pandemic levels,” she said.

In some regions, demand is exceeding even the starkest days of the covid-19 pandemic. In central Ohio, the local food bank says the number of households seeking aid has increased by nearly half since last year.

More than 11.4 million households collected free groceries in early April, up 15% from a year ago, according to data from the Census Bureau.

“Food banks have been around for 50 years, but this is the first time we are seeing unprecedented high food demand combined with historically low unemployment rates,” said Vince Hall, chief government relations officer for Feeding America, which supports 60,000 food pantries.

The sustained demand comes as most government pandemic emergency aid ends - notably, temporary covid-19-related increases to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps, a federal program that provides debit cards to directly purchase food at stores.

Inflation is a major factor, too: Grocery prices have increased 23% since March 2020, when the pandemic began, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Such post-covid-19 demand for free food is “not a good signal” for the economy “and perhaps an indicator of an impending recession,” said John Lowrey, a professor at Northeastern University whose research focuses on food bank management and public health.

Which US states need more workers?

In recent months there has been a wave of massive layoffs in the United States, resulting in the bankruptcy of various companies. An example of this is Bed Bath & Beyond, a company that filed for bankruptcy on April 23, weeks after laying off thousands of employees.

However, there are certain regions of the country where more workers are needed as employers have a harder time recruiting, resulting in greater job offers.

This report outlines  the states which have the biggest need for workers.

Survey shows investors expect dollar to continue falling

Last year, the dollar soared to two-decade highs, but according to professional investors, it will continue to fall further as the market has undervalued the Federal Reserve's approaching easing cycle.

A Bloomberg survey shows that a big majority of investors expect the Fed to cut interest rates to 3% or below in a loosening cycle that 40% believe will start this year. That stands in contrast to market pricing that puts the implied policy rate around 3.05% in two years

According to Bloomberg, the fall of the dollar could affect future moves of investors, as de-dollarization is an issue that holds great weight among them.
California cities that offer guaranteed income programs: amounts, requirements & eligibility

California has one of the highest rates of income inequality in the country. Because of this, state and local authorities have launched a series of guaranteed income programs that offer direct monthly payments to low-income residents, with the goal of helping them meet their basic needs.

More than 12,000 Californians get cash payments each month through the guaranteed income pilot programs. Daniela Barrera gives us the cities that offer financial aid, as well as the current status of the programs.

Red flags for an IRS tax audit

The deadline for filing income tax returns has come and gone, but tax concerns may not be over for everyone. Although it does not happen very often, the IRS might decide to audit your return if they sense some red flags in it.

According to CNBC, some red flags the agency watches out for are "round numbers, missing income, excessive deductions or credits, unreported income and refundable tax credits."

The best way to avoid being audited is to have proper documentation, and to have all the receipts you need to back up the information you filed.
The 5 best cities in the United States to live only on a Social Security check

Every month, the Social Security Administration issues millions of payments to retired workers.

According to official Administration figures, the maximum Social Security payment for those claiming the benefit at full retirement age (67) is $3,627 per month. Those who apply at age 62 receive a maximum of $2,572 per month, and those who wait until age 70 can receive a maximum benefit of $4,555 per month.

If you are relying only your Social Security check as your source of income, our report shares the top five cities where your money can go the furthest.
Spring inflation checks: Americans who can get between $150 and $1,000

Although inflation has fallen drastically compared to the rates of a year ago, the figure continues to be high: the US reported five percent inflation in March.

Some state governments have chosen to offer their own financial assistance to provide relief to residents who continue to struggle to meet their basic needs. Daniela Barrera reports on states where Inflation checks will be issued in the spring.

Deposits at all commercial banks slide

Deposits at all commercial banks dropped in the second week of April, though at smaller banks deposits held steady in a sign of stabilization in the financial institutions hardest hit by deposit outflows after last month's failure of two large regional banks.

Federal Reserve data showed deposits at all commercial banks fell to $17.38 trillion in the week ended April 12, on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, from $17.43 trillion a week earlier.

The drop was almost entirely at the top 25 banks, the data showed.

A drop in deposits can leave banks with less capacity for loans, though there was little to show that in the Fed's data.

Loans and leases at all banks ticked down to $12.05 trillion from $12.06 trillion a week earlier.

What is better, buying groceries every day, weekly or monthly?

Saving money while shopping is as important as ever with inflation remaining stubbornly high. Carefully managing the quality of product, cost, as well as preventing waste is crucial for everyone from university students to large families.

Having a big weekly shop is the most useful plan on average. You can be organised by planning your meals and creating a shopping list in advance. This can help you avoid forgetting items or buying unnecessary items.

Buying weekly also prevents those little trips to get one or two things each day; more often than not you will buy more things and spend unnecessary money. These also take time as the nature of American cities and towns means a drive is a certainty.

Read more
Can your ex-spouse work record boost your Social Security benefits if you are divorced?

There are conditions in which a former spouse may claim social security support after a divorce. If an ex-spouse of yours makes a claim for SSDI spousal benefits, this will not affect any benefits you are receiving from the SSA.

If you are divorced, your ex-spouse can receive benefits based on your record, even if you have remarried, if...

Unemployment rates hit record low for 12 states in March

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released data stating that a dozen states saw their unemployment rates fall to a record low last month.

The reports showed that 18 states saw a decline in unemployment rates in March, while the rest were mostly unchanged.

New Hampshire, Oregon, and West Virginia saw the biggest drops, with the rate falling by 0.3 percentage point in each case. Mississippi saw a decline of 0.2 percentage point to 3.5%. according to Bloomberg.
What is the Social Security Expansion Act that could mean an additional $2,400 a year in benefits?

A bill introduced back in February has had a new injection of life. The Social Security Expansion Act, first brought up by Sen. Bernie Sanders, seeks to alleviate pressure on America’s oldest by providing Social Security with extra

If the bill is passed and signed then people receiving Social Security payments, or turn 62 this year, will get an additional $200 a month, or $2,400 a year.

Read more

Finance world waits for major reports next week

Next week reports will be released that the finance sector will be keeping an eye on.

At the top of the list are US economic figures, which are expected to have an impact on decisions that the Federal Reserve will make in May.

Others to look out for are numbers on earnings of banks such as First Republic and other European banks, as well as big tech companies such as Microsoft and Meta.
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. As this report tells us, the recipients have been receiving the subsidy through debit cards which were handed out in March.

Fed's next move on interest rates will hinge on economic data

Economic statistics that are set to be released next week may serve as the basis for the Federal Reserve's next move on interest rates.

Figures are scheduled to be announced on US growth, prices, and wages, and these are expected to influence discussions during the Fed's May policy meeting.
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

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