US financial news | Summary news 21 September
US Business News: Latest Updates
Headlines: Thursday 21 September 2023
- Federal Reserve announced no change to interest rates after meeting on Wednesday
- Gas prices surge in California, up 30 cents per gallon in one week
- 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:
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 benefits will increase starting in October.
Donald Trump calls on GOP to shutdown the government
Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) called out former president Donald Trump for his message to GOP members of the House of Representatives to use their power to shutdown the government. Trump believes that this will force Democrats to make concessions on spending. However, with Democrats in control of the Senate, any leverage held by the GOP is minimal. Additionally, GOP representatives in swing districts are growing concerned that a shutdown could threaten their re-election chances.
The shutdown will begin on 1 October if no bills are passed to continue funding the government. At this point, no bills have been brought forward.
The media mogul Rupert Murdoch, 92, has stepped down as chair of News Corp and Fox Corp. As he departs from both companies, his eldest son, Lachlan, has been tapped to take over. Read our full coverage for details on the roles within the media empire that all of Murdoch's children occupy.
Congress is barreling towards a government shutdown with the GOP House majority unable to pass a bill to fund the government.
Past shutdowns give us an idea of how damaging another one could be.
In addition to retired workers, the Social Security Administration (SSA) issues millions of payments to people with disabilities. They fall into the category of recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
The size of the checks varies depending on each person’s situation. However, year after year, the SSA makes an adjustment to prevent beneficiaries from losing out because of inflation, the cost of living adjustment (COLA).
The October SSI check of $914 will be issued automatically on Friday, 29 September.
Social Security benefits are adjusted each year to prevent Americans from being swamped by inflation. This cost of living adjustment (COLA) has been especially important in the last two years, which saw adjustment increases of 5.9% and 8.7% in 2022 and 2023, respectively.
Read our full coverage for the latest forecasts on the 2024 COLA.
Some states continue to send stimulus checks or tax refunds to their residents to give their residents a financial lift.
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.
Online banking is taking hold of the nation and this is forcing brick-and-mortar branches to shut across various states.
The price of gas in California has soared, regular is up nearly 30 cents per gallon on average just in the last week. Here’s what prices to expect near you.
Here’s the average cost per gallon for each county in the Golden State.
Federal reserve head speaks about inflation
Inflation has moderated somewhat since the middle of last year, and longer-term inflation expectations appear to remain well anchored as reflected in a broad range of surveys of households, businesses and forecasters as well as measures from financial markets.
Nevertheless, the process of getting inflation sustainably down to 2% has a long way to go.
Interest rates stay steady at latest Federal Reserve meeting
The Federal Reserve has maintained its current stance on interest rates, in line with market expectations. Consequently, the benchmark borrowing rate remains unchanged, ranging from 5.25% to 5.5%.
Nevertheless, the central bank has conveyed its intention to keep interest rates at elevated levels for an extended duration. Fed Chair Jerome Powell emphasized that the central bank's primary focus is reestablishing price stability, as ignoring this objective can have severe repercussions on the economy.
As more financial transactions are made online, hackers can access more personal information. What happens after a hacker is caught? Fines, penalties
One of the key demands of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union is the move to a 32-hour workweek, down from 40, at no loss of pay. The aim is to create a healthier work and life balance without loss of productivity.
Indeed, companies and governments have been trialing the idea and have seen productivity actually increase. A trial program in Iceland was such an “overwhelming success” that now 86 percent of the nation’s workforce are either now working fewer hours or in the process of reducing their workweek.
Read more for details on where workers work the shortest weeks.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits are about to increase.
Maximum SNAP benefits for 2024 will increase by 3.5 to 3.8 percent. These are the maximum amounts that will be awarded in the 48 contiguous United States, including the District of Columbia, beginning October 1 of this year.
People who receive Social Security benefits are enrolled in Medicare Part B with the premium deducted directly from your check. This means that a portion of your Social Security benefit is automatically used to pay for your Medicare Part B premium. If you don’t get benefits from Social Security you’ll get a premium bill from Medicare every three months.
The standard monthly premium for enrollees of this plan is $164.90 in 2023 while the annual deductible for all Medicare Part B beneficiaries is $226.
Certain Social Security beneficiaries will receive two checks in September. Find out who will receive them and when the exact payment dates will be.
Epic to pay out $245 million for unapproved in-game purchases on Fortnite
The FTC has begun notifying over 37 million people who may be entitled to compensation from Epic Games. The agency reached a settlement with the creator of Fortnite for alleged deceptive practices designed to get players to make unwanted purchases and without parental consent in the popular videogame.
Epic agreed to pay $245 million in compensation to eligible recipients. It is unclear how much of a refund will be paid out for each claim but “will depend on several factors, including how many people file a claim.”
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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 progrmas to provide financial relief to Americans.