USA finance and payments news summary | 18 May 2022
US Finance News: Latest News
Headlines: 18 May 2022
- The Great Resignation continued in April with eight states seeing an increase in the number of workers who quit their jobs.
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the unemployment rate for foreign born workers decreased to 5.6 percent in 2021.
- Crude oil prices hit $114, an eleven percent increase over prices recorded this time last month.
- The Bitcoin and crypto-collapse continues to have massive impacts on Wall Street, some coins like Luna have hit zero.
- Inflation continues to cut into the purchasing power of consumers: what products have seen a decrease in price?
Helpful information & links
- Does working after one’s full retirement age increase Social Security benefits?
- New York State offers home loan forgiveness program
- Wide support for California $400 gas check
Every states records $4 gasoline average
For the first time, the average price of a gallon of gasoline exceeds $4 in every state. The price of motor fuel has soared in recent months, along with other products made using crude oil, in response to inflationary pressures and the trade sanctions on Russia. Americans all across the country are feeling the consequences at the pump and the situation looks like being a major factor in the upcoming midterm elections.
In a recent poll published by Pew Research, the high rate of inflation was voted the most serious issue facing the United States at the moment. After making solid economic growth in 2021, we are now seeing the consequences of an overheated economy as prices rise and consumers' buying power takes a hit.
However the unique circumstances brought about by the post-pandemic recovery haven't affected all sectors, and some areas have even seen price drops in recent months.
How can I check my Social Security entitlement?
The amount of money on offer from the Social Security Administration (SSA) varies from person to person, because your personal entitlement is a reflection of your working history and personal situation. However it can be difficult to calculate how much you are entitled to get, and to work out how best to maximise your earning potential and ensure youre all set for retirement.
Fortunately the SSA offers a free-to-use online portal which shows your earnings history, allowing you to work out your future payment size...
“Raising corp taxes is fine to discuss. Taming inflation is critical to discuss. Mushing them together is just misdirection.”
"It doesn't require a huge leap to figure out why one of the wealthiest individuals on Earth opposes an economic agenda for the middle class that cuts some of the biggest costs families face, fights inflation for the long haul, and adds to the historic deficit reduction the President is achieving by asking the richest taxpayers and corporations to pay their fair share."
At the start of 2022 the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States was $3.28, but after sustained increases the price is now more than $1 higher, a massive additional expense for consumers to bare.
The national average has now been above $4 since March, while some are currently paying over $6 for a gallon. California has proposed measures to help consumers by giving drivers a $400 payment to keep their car on the road.
But will this trend continue for the rest of 2022, or is there some respite on the horizon for motorists?
When it comes to planning for your retirement, deciding when to start claiming Social Security benefits can be crucial to ensure that you have the financial means to enjoy your retirement in comfort. The age at which a worker can retire and receive their maximum Social Security benefit amount depends on the year they were born.
At the age of 62 Social Security benefits can be claimed, but it is not until almost a decade later that the maximum benefit becomes available. We take a look at the best time to start claiming a Social Security payment.
Will there be $6 gasoline this summer?
It is no secret that motorists and consumers in general are suffering under the weight of rapidly increasing gasoline prices, which has once again reached new height today. This morning AAA confirmed that the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States had risen to $4.567, nearly 50 cents higher than it was just a month earlier.
As we approach the summer months, when Americans are most likely to embark on long holiday trips, pushing the demand up, it is thought that the average price could go even higher. Experts are now warning that a $6 gallon of gasoline could become the reality for millions of people in the coming months.
The high cost of oil, the key ingredient in gasoline, is driving these high pump prices for consumers. Even the annual seasonal demand dip for gasoline during the lull between spring break and Memorial Day, which would normally help lower prices, is having no effect this year.
Average gas price in every US state greater than $4
Gas prices surpassed $4 in every state for the first time Tuesday, according to data released by AAA. A spokesperson for the organisation told The Hill that Oklahoma, Georgia and Kansas, the last three states with average gas prices under the $4 threshold earlier this week, now had prices above the threshold.
Continued high prices of crude oil are partly to blame; it is still over $100 for a barrel.
Members of Congress continue to call for the extension of the Child Tax Credit
In light of the baby formula shortage in the US, California Congresswomen Barbara Lee has called on Congress to extend the enhanced child tax credit another year.
The formula crisis has left low-income families extremely vulnerable has prices the product have surged around the country. For Lee, extending the credit would provide these families with a lifeline that could help them better compete in the market.
For more on the baby formula shortage, read our full coverage.
A new study showed just how much families needed the Child Tax Credit
The enhanced Child Tax Credit which was distributed last year as a part of the American Rescue Plan was a lifeline for many struggling families. Estimates on the impact of the credit show that child poverty was cut in half as a result of over 24 million more children, many of whom come from low-income families, becoming eligible to receive the benefit.
For those wondering the credit will be extended, such a prospect seems unlikely. There is currently very little movmeent on Capitol Hill surronding the issue with much of the legislative focus set towards inflation, the War in Ukraine, and the draft opinion overturning Roe V Wade which was leaked earlier this month.
Oil prices back on the rise
Consumer prices around the world for groceries and utilities are holding at high levels across the world as a result of increased transportation costs.
In part, the Russian invasion in Ukraine has helped to drive up prices, but it is just an additional factor on top of a fragile economic recovery from the pandemic. Many countries had not reached their pre-pandemic levels and this additional supply shock is sending impacts throughout the market.
After enjoying an extremely profitable 2020 and 2021, cryptocurrency investors have felt a harsh backlash this year as a number of widely-held coins have plummeted in value.
Last week we saw perhaps the most abrupt of all the falls when the value of Luna cryptocurrency fell from a combined $20 billion to close to zero in just a few days. At one point the coin was listed at $0.00 on Binance, the most widely-used cryptocurrency exchange in the world. Read more.
Since April 2021, food prices have increased 10.8 percent
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that over the last twelve months, food prices have increased more than 10.8 percent. This represents the greatest year over year increase since 1980.
Some of the foods that saw the greatest increase at 14.3 percent include meats, poultry, fish, and eggs.
Strength of the US dollar contributes to increases in crude oil prices
The US Energy Information Administration has released a report showing that the strength of the dollar is contributing to higher than usually crude oil prices.
"A strong U.S. dollar means that countries that use currencies other than the U.S. dollar pay more as crude oil prices increase," reads the report.
Additionally the team at EIA found that "short-term U.S. treasury yields may be contributing to higher demand for U.S. government bonds," which leads to a subsequent increase in demand for US dollars and "the value of the U.S. dollar against other currencies."
Q What was your message to the families, Mr. President?
THE PRESIDENT: My message was: They’re going to be in pain for a long while. But they will get to the point where something — they’ll open a closet door or they’ll ride by a park or they’ll eat their favorite ice cream, and they’ll think of the person they lost and they’ll smile before they cry. And that’s when they know you’re going to make it. Until then, you’re not sure. But it will happen. It’ll come.
The age at which a worker can retire and receive their maximum Social Security benefit amount depends on the year they were born. At sixty-two, Social Security benefits can be claimed, but it is not until almost a decade later that the maximum benefit becomes available. Read more.
Hello and welcome to AS USA's Financial News live blog for Wednesday, 18 May 2022.
From Washington to Wall Street we will be bringing you all the investment and monetary news you need.
Still haven't received your tax refund? Do not worry, we have you covered on how to contact the IRS.
Cryptocurrency is seeing one of its largest decreases in years, with many long-term investors exiting the market, what does this mean for Bitcoin?
Gas prices are up around the country, a sign that while inflation began to slow in April, numbers could spike again in May.