US financial news | Summary news 25 September
US financial news: live updates
Headlines: Monday 25 September 2023
- Gas price surge in California slows, average $5.83 per gallon
- Writers union reaches tentative deal with studios, could end months-long strike
- UAW leadership called on workers at 38 GM and Stellantis plants to go on strike after negotiations stalled with corporate executives.
- Federal Reserve held interest rates steady at September meeting
- SNAP benefits to increase in October
- 2024 Social Security COLAlikely to be far lowerthan the increase seen in 2023
- Various locations of major banks will close across the country next year
Read more from AS USA:
What happened the last time the US's credit rating was downgraded?
Credit ratings have been sunk by shutdowns before; 5 August 2011. It was the first time the rating had fallen below AAA. Moody’s is the last credit agency remaining to allocate such a score the the US government.
Moody's credit assessment
While government debt service payments would not be impacted and a short-lived shutdown would be unlikely to disrupt the economy, it would underscore the weakness of US institutional and governance strength relative to other AAA-rated sovereigns that we have highlighted in recent years
An announcement by credit rating company Moody’s that the US’s credit worthiness could be under threat puts more pressure on House Republicans.
A credit rating is an assessment of a country’s ability to repay debts. It is determined by credit bureaus based on factors such as financial history, payment patterns, and outstanding obligations. The lower the rating, the riskier a loan from that nation. AAA is the highest score.
Could the government shutdown lead to the ousting of Rep. McCarthy?
As a government shutdown looms mere days away, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy may have to seek bipartisan backing for a spending bill that would sustain government operations. However, work with the Democrats and he would almost certianly lose his job as he granted new powers for Republicans to be able to oust him.
Social Security payments continue to be sent out. Each month, the Social Security Administration (SSA) issues millions of checks throughout the US to beneficiaries of the program, who are mostly retired workers.
According to the SSA, Wednesday 27 September will see the fourth of a total of five Social Security payment runs scheduled for this month being sent.
President Biden joins UAW picket lines
In brief remarks to the picketing workers on Tuesday, the Democratic president said that they "deserve the significant raise you need and other benefits".
Biden said that the workers "deserve" raises and other concessions they are seeking.
Student debt is spiralling out of control with no real plan to address it in the long-term. With these fees pricing out students with poorer backgrounds from studying the arts, there is a focus on value for money; that is will a students future earnings mean university is a financially wise decision.
Indeed, only a third of US students feel confident in value for money at college. As a whole average, college graduates had median incomes of $74,154 last year, $30,000 more than people without degrees. Noted are the study fields in which graduates earn more than this average.
The GOP Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy is struggling to herd members of his party to pass critical legislation to fund the US government. They have until the end of this week to approve or extend funding, or at midnight Sunday 1 October the federal government will shut down.
By far the longest federal shutdown to date came during the Trump presidency, which latest for 35 days and affected nine executive departments and a quarter of all government activities.
Social Security beneficiaries will be able to see an increase in their monthly payments starting in 2024 thanks to the increase in the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA).
Year after year, the Social Security Administration (SSA) makes an increase to the COLA with the goal of equalising beneficiary payments with the inflation rate in course. In this way, acquisitive losses are avoided for the beneficiaries when the inflation rate is high.
This winter is expected to be colder across most of the nation and depending on what kind of system you use to heat your house that could mean a hefty bill.
VP Harris announced proposed new rules that would stop medical bills from affecting credit scores which would benefit millions of Americans.
The Biden administration announced prior to that decision that federal student loan repayments would be begin again starting 1 October after reaching an agreement with Republican leaders in the House. Interest on loans began to accrue again starting 1 September, like repayments it had been frozen since March 2020.
However, many are wondering now that a government shutdown looms and is looking highly likely to happen, also on 1 October, what does that mean for student loan repayments?
Hundreds of thousands of federal employees could be furloughed if Congress fails to pass appropriation bills to fund the government.
Many of whom will go without pay even if required to keep working.
Following Netflix and Disney+, Amazon Prime Video has announced that those who do not upgrade their membership plan will begin to be served ads next year. Until now, the basic Prime membership has allowed for an ad-free streaming experience, a benefit that many who use the platform enjoy.
Read our full coverage for details on when and where the change will be implemented.
There has been an increase in bank branches closing since the pandemic disrupted how people go about their daily lives.
As interest rates for 15-and-30-year fixed mortgages sit at the highest level in over two decades, housing market experts Realtor.com report that the first week of October could be the best week 2023 to buy a home. Critically, the week identified (1-7 October) is not particularly good because of the current market conditions. Rather, this week was identified by looking at housing market data over the last decade.
After the summer months, more houses are often put on the market, giving buyers more options and fewer competitors when making an offer. Realtor.com estimates that those purchasing a house during the first week of October can save around $15,000 relative to the week when buyers pay the highest prices.
Read our full coverage for details on why current market conditions could undermine this trend.
As e-commerce brings a greater number of Target customers online, the chain has decided to close various locations this year.
Gas prices today, September 25 in California by county
Gas prices in California continue upward momentum due to refinery issues up over 50 cents per gallon from a month ago.
Here’s the average cost per gallon for each county in the Golden State.
Every year, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) raises the monthly payments sent out to beneficiaries of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), one of the country’s largest social assistance programs, previously known as food stamps.
This increase is part of a program of cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) designed to ensure that SNAP benefits keep pace with inflation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), grocery prices have increased three percent over the last year.
Read our full coverage for details on how much the value of SNAP benefits will increase starting in October.
As bank customers move online and make fewer trips to their local branches, many national financial institutions are closing down locations. This is not a new trend. Insider Intelligence reported that between 2017 and 2021, nine percent of all branches — around 7,000 locations— shut their doors.
The branches currently being shut are typically found in cities where another location exists, leaving customers with an office in case they require in-person assistance. For example, Bank of America is closing a branch in San Marcos, Los Angeles, and Anaheim, all home to additional locations.
For the locations set to close in October, check out our full coverage.
The 2024 COLA for Social Security will be announced in October. Here is our best estimate for the exact date.
The level of financial assistance in the form of direct payments has diminished but not completely.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) sends monthly payments to millions of beneficiaries, including retired workers and survivors. Survivors include children, spouses, widows, widowers, or parents of any deceased beneficiary.
The SSA also sends out on a monthly basis disability benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
As 2023 ends, the SSA has already shared the next year’s benefits payment schedule. Here is an explanation of the schedule and issuing dates month by month in 2024.
Welcome to AS USA's live financial blog!
We'll be bring you on all the financial news affecting US consumers from inflation and the Federal Reserves efforts to lower it to labor strikes and rising energy prices.
As well as updates on government programs to provide financial relief to Americans and how a government shutdown could effect them.