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USA finance and payments: summary 4 July

Since their highs in mid-June,gas prices have been falling little by little in the last three weeks as demand surges for July 4.

Headlines: 4 July 2022

- The first six months of 2022 represent the worst half year open in decades, with markets down 20 percent since January 

- Concerns grow that the overpriced housing market could be creating a bubble 

- Federal Reserve provides "no guarantee" that increasing interest rates will not increase unemployment 

- Bitcoin has lost half of its value since January, now trading at $19,185.49

- New proposal to increase Social Security benefits by $2,400 a year circulates on Capitol Hill

Helpful links & Information 

- Residents in which states and cities are going to receive a stimulus check

- Where are home pricesexpected to drop in the US over the next year?

Check out some of AS USA's related news articles:


Is the US about to hit the third requisite of a housing buble?

According to Fortune the textbook definition of a housing bubble requires three things. Exuberant demand driven by speculation, overvaluation of home prices beyond what incomes can support, and the popping of the bubble.

The first two have been met with of the one hundred most populated metro areas all having seen increases in property values over the last year. On average house prices increase between 3.5 and 3.8 percent a year. This year that average has shot up to 18.5 percent, with a median of seventeen percent.

Although wages have been rising, inflation has been rising faster eroding any gains made by workers.


Streaming with commercials may be the future

One of the main features that has gotten viewers to sign up for streaming platforms is the ability to binge watch their chosen viewing content without innterruptions. Those golden days may be coming to an end with services looking to further monetize those eyeballs on their content. 

Virtual product placement has already come to Peacock and Amazon allowing forbrands to digitally insert there products in streams. Roku and Walmart are teaming up so that viewers can even purchase items mid-stream. Netflix and Disney+ are looking to cash in as well with plans to launch ad-supported subscriptions later this year.

US finance: latest updates

Independence Day but no fireworks for markets

Americans shopping for July 4 barbecues will pay an average 17% more than last year for items such as burgers and lemonade, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation, an example of the brutal price pressures facing consumers globally.

Still, Jerome Powell's whatever-it-takes-style message last week may have persuaded bond markets that the U.S. Federal Reserve means business when it comes to stomping on inflation.

Five-year breakevens, a gauge of future inflation, now stand around 2.6%, a whole percentage point off April levels. And while cash Treasury bond markets are shut on Monday, futures imply 10-year yields around 2.88%, 60 basis points below June peaks.

Easing inflation expectations are positive for stocks, and Wall Street rallied on Friday. But not if recession concerns are the main drivers, which many argue is the case. Note that speculators had cut bearish bets on Treasury futures even before Powell's speech, CFTC data for the week to June 28 shows .


IRS showcases multiple language options

The Internal Revenue Service offers guidance and tax advice in a wide range of languages so nobody will feel marginalised when dealing with the complexities that tax issues can throw up. 

A Wall Street sign

Stocks up in holiday mood on resurgent oil

World stocks rose in holiday-thinned trade on Monday, helped by a bounce in oil as concerns over tight supply outweighed recession fears.

European stocks rallied 0.8% and Britain's FTSE rose over 1%, boosted by gains in oil and gas companies.

Oil dropped $1 a barrel earlier on Monday on worries about the global economic outlook, but roared back on data showing lower output from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and on unrest in Libya and sanctions on Russia.

Ecuador's oil production has been hit by unrest recently, and a strike in Norway could cut supply this week.

"This backdrop of mounting supply outages is colliding with a possible spare production capacity shortage among Middle Eastern oil producers," said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.

"And without new oil production hitting markets soon, prices will be forced higher."

Output from the 10 members of OPEC in June fell 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 28.52 million bpd, off their pledged increase of about 275,000 bpd, a Reuters survey showed.

Brent crude jumped 1.25% to $113.02, while U.S. crude rose 1.2% to $109.76 per barrel.


Changing patterns of consumption

I’m not doing ribs. I’m not doing beef brisket and other things that probably I would normally do... It’s just a difficult time. You can look for opportunities out there and still have a fun gathering with family and friends to celebrate the Fourth of July and not break the bank.

David Branch, food and agribusiness adviser for Wells Fargo
How much more will it cost to celebrate July 4th in 2022?

With gas prices continuing to rise globally, it’s not the best time to be celebrating. On the other hand, it’s the 4th of July and that’s exactly what people are going to do, but how much more will it cost this year when compared with years gone by? Let’s find out!

Read more


Germany entering big trade deficit

After months of what the EU and the US have referred to as state-crushing sanctions, the Russian ruble is now stronger (on paper) than before the country launched its invasion into Ukraine. With western powers still considering more sanctions, the ruble is poised to further strengthen its position against the both euro and the US dollar.

While the snactions don't seem to be affecting Russia, at least on paper, European nations are starting to feel the burn as one of their largest trading partners has been removed.


Guzman out as finance minister in Argentina

The economic situation of many countreis in the world is perilous at present. For one, the situation in Argentina has gone from bad to worse after news broke that the country’s finance Minister, Martin Guzman, quit suddenly on Saturday stating a split in the Peronist coalition led to the decision.

The announcement was made public on Twitter, and in the seven page document, he calls for his successor to find  “political agreement within the governing coalition.”

Guzman is the fourth cabinet member to have left his position in President Alberto Fernandez’s administration over the last few months.
The economic climate in Argentina is already on the rocks, and inflation is expected to soar past 70% in the near future.

Nicolas Dujovne, a former centre-right finance minister said of Argentina, “The government has far more problems than the [political] divide: a high deficit, excessive money printing and they’ve lost market confidence.”

What are gas prices in the US and each state? Today 4 July 2022

Prices for fuel have reached their peak for the yearso far, reaching $5.01 a gallon as a US average on June 14. There has been a slight decrease over the last two weeks with the average cost of a gallon sitting around the $4.80 mark.

Drivers have been helped by the demand for driving over the July fourth weekend. Record numbers are taking to the roads to be with family as close to 42 million people will be driving.

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This is a victory for the millions of undocumented Californians who contribute $3.7 billion in state and local taxes and over $40 billion in spending power to our economy ever year.

María Elena Durazo , California Senator

California to offer undocumented migrants health insurance

California will become the first state to offer all undocumented immigrants, regardless of age, state-subsidized health insurance. This will happen in 2024 and it will make California the first state to achieve universal access to health coverage. 

Nearly 700,000 people are expected to benefit from the plan.

What is the relationship between inflation and unemployment?

In the first sixth months of this year, the stock market lost a fifth of its value, and inflation increased by three percent.

Gas prices remain high, the remaining impacts of the covid-19 pandemic on global supply chains, and increasing interests rates have created a tense economic environment.

The US Federal Reserve has increased interest rates by 75 base points in the last month, corresponding with a 0.75 percent increase in rates. The hope is that the bump in rates will increase price of borrowing which could slow business investment to decrease demand and meet supply.

Read more


US factory activity slows to two-year low as clouds gather over economy

US manufacturing activity slowed more than expected in June, with a measure of new orders contracting for the first time in two years, signs that the economy was cooling amid aggressive monetary policy tightening by the Federal Reserve.

The survey from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) on Friday also showed a gauge of factory employment contracting for a second straight month, though an "overwhelming majority" of companies indicated they were hiring.

The slowdown in manufacturing followed moderate consumer spending growth in May along with weak housing starts, building permits and factory production, which left some economists anticipating that the economy contracted again in the second quarter following a slump in gross domestic product in the first three months of the year. Another decline in GDP would not necessarily indicate a recession unless the economy suffers deep job losses.

"This does not suggest that a recession is on the way yet, but growth conditions continue to decelerate broadly in response to Fed tightening and extended cost pressures for consumers and businesses," said Ben Ayers, a senior economist at Nationwide in Columbus, Ohio.


Dollar boosted by safety bid on rising recession fears

Pessimism about the outlook for the global economy boosted demand for the safe haven US dollar on Friday while the Australian dollar, a proxy for global growth, tumbled to a two-year low.

Rampant inflation and a rush by central banks to raise rates and stem the flow of cheap money has fueled sell-offs across markets and lifted assets seen as safer bets. “When people get worried they still buy dollar assets,” said Joseph Trevisani, senior analyst at FXStreet.com in New York. The dollar gained on Friday even as concerns about an economic downturn sent benchmark 10-year US Treasury yields to one-month lows.

The greenback is being swayed between concerns that the Federal Reserve will continue to hike rates aggressively in an effort to blunt soaring price pressures, and the likelihood that this tightening will hurt the economy. “You have weakening rates against the dollar competing against fear of a global recession and enormous amounts of debt and all sorts of other problems,” Trevisani said.

Expectations on how high the US central bank will be able to raise rates have fallen, with traders now pricing in a peak rate of 3.33% in March, down from previous expectations of around 4% before the Fed’s June meeting.

Stores opening hours on July 4th, 2022: Walmart, Target, Costco...

With Fourth of July celebrations already underway, there are just two days left to sort out any last-minute preparations before the big day. Whether you’re shopping for a family barbecue or looking to pick up a bargain in the Fourth of July sales, many choose to head to the stores around this time. If you’re planning on a bit of shopping this Independence Day, here’s everything you need to know…

Read more


IRS showcase social media networks

The Internal Revenue Service remind their customers that tax isn't all dull and offer a different angle lon many financial issues on their social media platforms where they offer all the latest updates.


Bezos and Biden going back and forth

Jeff Bezos has bitten back after the President of the United States, Joe Biden, after Biden had a clear statement for companies who manage sky rocketing gas prices.

“Bring down the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the cost you’re paying for the product. And do it now,” he wrote in a tweet over the weekend.

Bezos was quick with a reply saying that the U.S. inflation problem is “far too important for the White House to keep making statements like this.”

The price of oil has dipped approximately $15, but White House Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed in a tweet that prices have “barley” dropped. She continued, “But I guess it’s not surprising that you think oil and gas companies using market power to reap record profits at the expense of the American people is the way our economy is supposed to work.”


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