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Relief checks news summary | 25 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 News: Latest News

Headline | Tuesday 25 April 2023

- Median home selling prices increased 2.6 percent in March 

- 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

- 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:

3M lays off 6,000 workers

3M Company has announced they will cut 6,000 jobs as part of a broader restructuring plan, according to Yahoo Finance.

The cuts, along with an earlier reduction of 2,500 workers announced in January, amount to roughly 9% of 3M's workforce as of Dec. 31. The move will help the company “adjust to slowing end-market demand,” according to 3M CFO Monish Patolawala .

The maker of  Scotch Tape and N-95 masks reaffirmed its gloomy outlook for fiscal-year 2023
Housing market: 10 cities where home prices are expected to drop in 2023 according to experts

Prospective buyers may have found the home of their dreams beyond their reach in recent years, but now that the housing market has cooled down, they may have greater chances of finally being able to afford it.

Prices have been dropping, falling year-on-year for the first time in 11 years in February, while mortgage rates ended over 30 basis points lower in March than when they started.

This report tells us about 10 cities which could see more attainable prices by next year.

First Republic Bank considers divesting $50-$100 billion in assets

Beleaguered First Republic Bank is considering selling off between $50 billion to $100 billion of its assets in an attempt to pull itself out of the turbulence that has rocked the banking industry in recent months.

According to Bloomberg, the self-rescue plan includes the sales of long-dated mortgages and securities. The move hopes to correct the imbalance between the company's assets and liabilities which has pummeled the lender after they saw a run on deposits last month.
End Child Poverty Act: The program that could send $393 monthly payments

A group of lawmakers is proposing a bill to revive the practice of sending monthly checks to families with children, to help them afford necessities such as housing, food, childcare, and healthcare.

Representatives Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Chuy Garcia recently reintroduced the End Child Poverty Act, which establishes a benefit of $393 a month per child, to be given until the child turns 18.

This story reports that under the act, all families with children would benefit from the program regardless of income.

Wall Street drops on worries of an economic downturn

Wall Street's major averages suffered their deepest declines so far this month as a downbeat UPS forecast exacerbated investor concerns about a slowing economy, while plunging deposits at regional First Republic Bank added to jitters about the bank sector's health.

Shares in United Parcel Service fell 10%, its biggest daily loss since July 2006, after the courier company forecast full-year revenue at the lower end of its prior target.

This helped push the Dow Jones Transport Average index down 3.6%, for its biggest one-day drop since September.

Also worrying was data showing consumer confidence fell to a nine-month low in April.
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. Nearly 1.5 million taxpayers are eligible. The average median refund is $893.

There is a three-year limit on claiming a tax refund so there is still time to claim. The deadline is 17 July, 2023 as the filing period ended in 2020.

Read more
Alternatives to student loan forgiveness: What other options are there for student debt problems?

Student loan forgiveness is to be shaped by the decision of the Supreme Court, which has been reviewing the measure since November. Now stacked with conservative judges, the body is set to rule on the loan forgiveness plan on 30 June. If the Court gives the go-ahead to the programme students who qualify for debt forgiveness will receive it if they have signed up.

However, if the court strikes down the measure then students are once again in a sticky wicket. Federal student loan repayments would resume after 30 August after the final extension lapses.

Read more
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. Here are some states where Inflation checks will be issued in the spring.

Read our full coverage for more details of who could receive a check this spring.
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.

Read our full coverage for details on where these benefits tend to have the largest purchasing power.

First Republic Bank deposits plunge by more than $100 billion

First Republic Bank shares sank more than 20% after the lender said deposits plunged by more than $100 billion in the first quarter and that it was exploring options such as restructuring its balance sheet.

The deposit slump overshadowed profits that beat expectations for First Republic, which was shored up through an injection of deposits by larger banks last month after the collapse of two regional lenders.

The bank plans to slash expenses by cutting executive compensation, paring back office space, and laying off nearly 20% to 25% of employees in the second quarter.

The company also aims to increase its insured deposits and cut borrowings from the Federal Reserve Bank.

Report: Federal government wastes hundreds of billions a year

The federal governments wastes hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayers' money every year, according to the US Government Accountability Office.

According to the agency's report, the government made payment errors worth almost $250 billion dollars in the last fiscal year.

These mistakes include making overpayments and sending payments to people who had already passed away or were no longer qualified to receive help from government porgrams.

Half of US workers fear AI will hurt employment

As if workers didn't have enough on their minds already...

The integration of AI in the workplace is causing worry among workers, as companies begin to incorporate the technology into day-to-day operations.

According to a Pew Research survey, over 50% of those surveyed believe that artificial intelligence will hurt employment. The respondents are also wary of the new technology's integration across industries.

USB's first quarter earnings drop by half

USB, the bank which rescued failing Credit Suisse, reported a 52% slide in quarterly profit, having set aside a further $665 million to cover the costs of the US residential mortgage-backed securities that played a central role in the global financial crisis.

Switzerland's biggest bank set aside more money to draw a line under its involvement in toxic mortgages, dealing a heavy blow to first-quarter profit as it prepares to integrate its fallen rival.

"We are in advanced discussions with the US Department of Justice, and I am pleased that we are making progress toward resolving the legacy matter which dates back 15 years," said Chief Executive Sergio Ermotti.

Net profit attributable to shareholders came in at $1 billion, versus the $1.7 billion average of 15 analyst estimates in a UBS-conducted poll.
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 our full coverage for details on when a decision from the Supreme Court will decide on the legality of the president's plan.

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

The majority of taxpayers have already filed their returns, but those who requested an extension or were automatically granted one have until mid-October. 

Over on Capitol Hill, Republicans are leveraging the debt ceiling as a way to attract concessions on spending cuts from Democrats. To date, the strategy has not attacked much support. 

The Federal Reserve looks to be preparing another rate increase, with the federal funds rate currently standing between 4.75 and 5 percent.

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