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US economy and finance news summary | 9 May 2023

¿Por qué hay productos que siguen siendo caros a pesar de que baje la inflación en Estados Unidos?

Headlines: Tuesday, 9 May 2023

- Wall Street starts week with mixed results, Nasdaq and S&P 500 tick up, Dow slides after stellar Friday close.

- April 2023 inflation data due out on Wednesday

- Binance cryptocurrency exchange paused Bitcoin withdrawals twice in 24 hours, digital coin drops

- US economy added 253,000 jobs in April; the unemployment rate fell slightly to 3.4 percent 

- The unemployment rate for Black workers hits a historic low. 

- Positive news from the labor market came as the Fed increased rates by 0.25 percent, leading them to climb above five percent for the first time in over a decade. 

- Around 1.8 million workers are currently receiving unemployment benefits

Read more from AS USA:
What is the Social Security Disability Insurance program and who can apply for benefits?

SSI provides basic financial assistance to adults age 65 and older and people with disabilities, regardless of age, with limited income or resources, while SSDI provides support to people who have not have reached their full retirement age but have a disability and have a qualifying employment history.

To be an SSDI recipient, you must have paid Social Security taxes while working as a qualified employee, which is the biggest difference from SSI recipients, who can apply for the benefit without having worked, since this program is subsidized by the federal government.

Read more

How much your family coild get in SNAP support

These are the maximum amounts awarded in the 48 contiguous United States in SNAP benefits:

- one member: $281

- two members: $516

- three members: $740

- four members: $939

- five members: $1,116

- six members: $1,339

- seven members: $1,480

- eight members: $1,691

- any further additional member: +$211
How much can a family of 4 Receive in SNAP benefits in 2023?

To be eligible for SNAP benefits you must meet certain criteria, such as having a household income below a certain threshold, being a US citizen or legal immigrant, and meeting other program requirements. The amount of SNAP benefits you receive is based on your income and household size.

These are the maximum amounts awarded in the 48 contiguous United States, including the District of Columbia, depending on the number of family members...

Read more

No easy path ahead “when” debt ceiling is raised, US economic growth at risk

Lisa Shalett, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management CIO, spoke to Bloomberg TV about the debt ceiling and what she and her team are telling clients. “What we’re telling them is that it’s not a question of ‘if’, it’s a question of ‘when and how.’" The critical question is what Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will do once she is able to issue new debt.

Shalett says that they will be watching the pace and duration that new debt is issued which could be as high as $750 billion in the last four months of the year. That would be a drain of liquidity at the same time that there may be a credit crunch as monetary tightening continues.

The final deal reached between the White House and Republicans to raise the debt ceiling will also be watched closely. GOP lawmakers want deep cuts in spending. Depending on what spending is cut and if there are roll backs of the Inflation Reduction Act that could dampen the US economic growth.
$1,800 Social Security checks: Exact mailing dates in May 2023

The Social Security Administration continues to send monthly benefits to retired workers in 2023.

The SSA is also responsible for sending Supplemental Security Income benefits, disability and survivor benefits. This report tells us when to expect the payments for the month of May.

US inflation report “absolutely critical” for future Fed policy

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates once again last week. Chairman Powell signaled that the quarter percentage point hike could be the last one. But he cautioned that policymakers were willing to increase borrowing costs yet again when they meet in June and July. That will depend on economic indicators in the coming weeks.

On Wednesday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the April Consumer Price Index and that reading is “absolutely critical” in the words of JP Morgan Asset Manager Karen Ward. If inflation is shown to be cooling, shelter costs will be one key indicator, the Fed will have more maneuverability able to “reprioritize.” However, if inflation is “sticky,” specifically labor costs, the Fed will be “hamstrung.”

While the Fed is trying to get inflation down to its target of 2%, it is currently running more than double that, Ward says moderately high inflation wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing for stocks. Such a situation with continued strong economic growth, like the “goldilocks” jobs report last week, could help for a better broader performance in the stock market.
Teacher Appreciation Week: How much do high school teachers earn a year in the US?

It's Teacher Appreciation Week, so take the time to let them know how important they are or have been to you.

Teachers can make a big difference in their pupils lives as they prepare them for life in the labor force or higher education. Here’s how much they earn.
Complete list of Walmart supermarkets that will close in 2023 in each state

Many companies have aggressively hired workers over the past two years as incomes rose and demand stored to new highs. However, with inflation cutting into purchasing power, general uncertainty in the market, and the Federal Reserve moving up interest rates, some stock prices are starting to fall. While 2022 saw the second-largest increase in new jobs in the history of the country, 2023 could tell a completely different story.

The initial response to these ever-evolving economic conditions from the tech sector was mass layoffs. Now, the world’s largest employer, Walmart, will follow suit by closing down various locations to cut costs and improve its financial performance.

Here's where it will be shutter stores in 2023.
Which countries will have the top 10 economies in 2028?

The IMF has predicted which countries will have the top economies in 2028, and by their projections, China will overtake the US in the number one position.

The projection also indicates that China will be one of four Asian countries that make up the top six with the highest gross domestic product by purchasing power parity values at that period.

Our coverage reports on which countries are expected to comprise the top ten economies in five years.
Debt ceiling: Which countries own the most US debt?

The US is on the brink of its first-ever default this summer, as Congress and the White House continue its standoff on the issue of raising the debt ceiling.

The country owes trillions of dollars to foreign institutions, including governments, central banks, corporations, and other investors. Foreign governments own a big part of the public debt, which includes treasury bonds and other securities.

This report tells us more about which countries own the most US debt.
What is a qualified retirement plan and how do I know if mine is one?

Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, there are several qualified retirement plans in the US.

A qualified retirement plan is any plan that meets the requirements of Section 401(a) of the United States Revenue CodeThis report talks about how to determine if you have one of these plans, which you will need when you stop working.
Which California residents will get $800?

Residents of California, particularly those living in Palm Springs, have been chosen to participate in a guaranteed income program

Under this program, eligible individuals will be able to receive a monthly payment of $800 if they apply to the new pilot program that intends to implement a universal basic income.

This report details who are qualified to receive the checks, which will start being released this month.
Why does Five Guys have to pay $1.2 million in compensation to workers in California?

Five Guys could finally be wrapping up its long-standing class action lawsuit in California. Facing down the wrath of some 2,000 workers who alleged their rights had been trampled, the gourmet burger company reached an initial settlement nearly five years ago only for courts to push against it.

According to the allegations in the lawsuit, the plaintiff leading the class-action worked at a Five Guys location in California from August to November 2016 as a “manager-in-training.” He claimed he and a class of 2,206 employees were not provided with meal breaks or rest breaks in accordance with California labor law.

Read more
TurboTax will pay $141 million in compensation to customers: Who will receive it and how to request it

Tax filing company Intuit have found themselves in hot water with prosecutors after the company was accused of unfairly getting customers to pay for what should be a free process. A $141 million settlement was found with some 4.4 million consumers qualifying for compensation.

The case was brought as prosecutors argued that the company diverted low-income Americans away from free tax filing assistance options towards their own paid version. They were pointed towards the TurboTax free product, then later told they needed to pay. The IRS has its own free-filing product that is totally free for qualifying taxpayers.

Read more

California banking regulator admits poor SVB oversight

California's financial regulator failed to press leadership at Silicon Valley Bank to address known problems quickly enough before the lender imploded in March, according to a report in which the agency pledged to do better in the future.

The post-mortem by California's Department of Financial Protection and Innovation follows a scathing Federal Reserve report released last month in which the central bank blamed its own poor oversight, reckless bank management and loosened regulations for contributing to SVB's failure.

Regulators have since vowed tougher oversight of the banking sector while lawmakers have also complained that officials were too slow to address its poor risk management. Former SVB chief executive Gregory Becker is due to testify before Congress next week.
Walmart will pay 4 million dollars as compensation to customers: who will receive it and how to request it?

The United States Department of Justice has secured nearly $4 million in remission of a Walmart gift card scam. The Walmart gift card scams allegedly began in 2015 when scammers instructed victims to purchase Walmart gift cards ranging from $500 to $1,000.

Find out how to claim your money if you were affected.
How do I know if my Walmart Gift card has been scammed?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported at the end of 2021 that it had received reports from almost 40,000 people of gift card scams in the first nine months of that year. Crooks had made off with almost $150 million in that period, but the consumer protection agency says that is just a fraction of what was most likely stolen as the vast majority of frauds are not reported.

Scammers prefer gift cards as a way to get their hands on your money, but not just any card will do. The agency says that “over twice as much money was reported lost on Target gift cards than any other brand.” The next most popular gift cards were Google Play, Apple, eBay, and Walmart.

But, how do youknow if yours has been scammed?

Recession fears grow say experts

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Austan Goolsbee warned Monday that a credit tightening is under way and recession is a possibility.

“The credit crunch or at least the credit squeeze is beginning,” Goolsbee told Yahoo Finance LIVE in an exclusive interview, when asked how he views credit conditions in light of several bank failures over the last two months.

The comments from Goolsbee follow his vote last Wednesday to raise the Federal Reserve's policy rate by a quarter point.
What did Chicago Fed President Austan Goolsbee say about a credit squeeze and recession?

The chief of one of the country's regional reserve banks has sounded the alarm for more financial turmoil approaching the US economy.

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Austan Goolsbee has warned of a recession due to rising interest rates despite voting for one himself.

“The credit crunch or at least the credit squeeze is beginning,” said Goolsbee. This report tells us more about why Goolsbee believes that recession is a possibility.

Binance pauses Bitcoin withdrawals twice in 24 hours as digital coin value drops

Bitcoin hit a high water mark in mid-April breaking topping out just over $30,500. Its value once again dived a week later shedding over $3,000 before regaining two-thirds of the loss. Over the weekend the latest rebound in the digital coin’s valuation was put into doubt.

Binance was forced to pause withdrawals twice in 24 hours on Sunday as congestion in its exchange system pushed unconfirmed transactions to close to 500,000. Once the latest halt was lifted the company said that higher fees were implemented to encourage mining pools to pick them up. It also said that it was working to integrate its BTC Lightning Network withdrawals.

Bitcoin is now trading below $28,000 and Binance’s trading position for bitcoin trading volume has declined significantly, falling out of the top 10 exchanges for bitcoin trading pairs.
How can I apply for Social Security Disability Insurance if I don’t live in the United States?

Social Security benefits include disability insurance, which is for people who have not reached their full retirement age, but because of a disability can no longer work. To be a beneficiary, the person must demonstrate that he or she has a severe illness and has received treatment for at least one year, or that there is no cure for what they are suffering from.

Some people who are qualified for this benefit may be living outside of the US. This report details how you can apply for this assistance even if you don’t live in the country.
What is the Social Security Disability Insurance program and who can apply for benefits?

The Social Security Administration provides basic financial assistance to adults age 65 and older and people with disabilities, regardless of age, when they have limited income or resources. What is the difference between supplemental insurance and disability? 

This report tells us who are qualified to become beneficiaries of disability insurance.
What are the cities with the cheapest rent in Texas?

While Texas isn’t the cheapest state in The Union, it does have some cities that have been determined to some of the most affordable. One of several factors that determine the affordability of a city is housing costs.

They are also one of the biggest expenses, can make up over thirty percent of the basket for household expenses when analyzing the cost of living in any given area. Fortunately, in Texas, for those that rent their dwelling, several markets have seen rates drop recently. 

Here’s a look at the cities with the cheapest rents in Texas.

Welcome to AS USA’s live blog on the latest financial news

Throughout the day we'll bring you news on personal finance and the wider US economy. Some of the leading stories at the start of the new week:

Mixed start to the week for Wall Street, with the Dow slightly down after stellar Friday close while Nasdaq and S&P 500 slightly up. Concerns raised that the markets will weaken over the remainder of the year.

On Sunday, Binance cryptocurrency trading platform was forced to pause withdrawals of Bitcoin twice in 24 hours. Exceptional demand came as the value of the oldest digital coin slumped, dropping nearly $2,000 in a 48 hour period. Bitcoin saw swings in value on Monday but has held in the $27,000s range.

Next set of economic data expected on Wednesday with the release of Consumer Price Index for April 2023. The report will show how much the aggressive Fed rate hikes have dampened down inflation.

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