Economy

POLL: 97% Of CFOs Expect Economic Downturn In 2020

Axios reports: Chief financial officers are bracing for an economic slowdown this year, according to Deloitte’s quarterly survey of nearly 150 executives at top North American companies. Multiple surveys showed plunging optimism among top executives last year, thanks largely to trade war uncertainty. Deloitte’s survey is a signal that skittishness continues to curb companies’ hiring and spending plans this year, …

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Trump: China Trade Deal Will Be Signed Jan. 15th

CNBC reports: President Donald Trump plans to ink the “phase one” trade deal with China at the White House on Jan. 15.  The president said “high level representatives of China” will attend the signing. Trump added that he will travel to Beijing “at a later date” to start talks toward a second piece of the trade pact. The White House …

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Federal Study: Trump’s Tariffs Cost Jobs, Raised Prices

MarketWatch reports: President Donald Trump’s strategy to use import tariffs to protect and boost U.S. manufacturers backfired and led to job losses and higher prices, according to a Federal Reserve study released this week. “We find that the 2018 tariffs are associated with relative reductions in manufacturing employment and relative increases in producer prices,” concluded Fed economists Aaron Flaaen and …

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World’s 500 Richest People Gained $1.2 Trillion In 2019

Bloomberg News reports: In 2019, the world’s richest 500 people saw their collective net worth jump by 25 percent or $1.2 trillion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index published Friday. Combined, the collective net worth of the world’s 500 wealthiest individuals totaled $5.9 trillion. American billionaires alone added $500 billion to their wealth, with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gaining $27.3 …

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2019’s Top Ten Home Sales Totaled Over $1.2 Billion

Bloomberg News reports: This year saw weak annual gains in luxury home prices, new tax proposals on million-dollar properties, and restrictions for foreign investors. But that didn’t stop luxury homebuyers in the U.S. from shelling out upwards of $100 million apiece for mansions, penthouses, and beachside properties. A Manhattan penthouse topped the list of 2019’s 10 most expensive residential real …

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Saturday Shopping Sales At All-Time Record $34B

Bloomberg News reports: Holiday shopping set records over the weekend, with Super Saturday sales reaching $34.4 billion, the biggest single day in U.S. retail history, according to Customer Growth Partners. “Paced by the ‘Big Four’ mega-retailers — Walmart, Amazon, Costco and Target — Super Saturday was boosted by the best traffic our team has seen in years,” said Craig Johnson, …

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Forecast: Credit Card Delinquencies Near 10-Year High

Bloomberg News reports: Americans are projected to fall seriously behind on their credit card bills at the highest rate in a decade as banks push a record number of people to get plastic. The share of credit card borrowers who are at least 90 days past due on their accounts will probably tick up to 2.01% next year, the highest …

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Economist, Ex-Fed Chairman Paul Volcker Dead At 92

CNN reports: Paul A. Volcker, who helped shape American economic policy for more than six decades, most notably by leading the Federal Reserve’s brute-force campaign to subdue inflation in the late 1970s and early ’80s, died on Sunday in New York. He was 92. Mr. Volcker, a towering, taciturn and somewhat rumpled figure, arrived in Washington as America’s postwar economic …

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Trump Gets Robust November Jobs Reports

Bloomberg News reports: U.S. job gains roared back in November as unemployment matched a half-century low and wages topped estimates, giving the Federal Reserve more reason to hold interest rates steady after three straight cuts. Stock futures and the dollar jumped while Treasuries slid. Payrolls jumped 266,000, the most since January, after an upwardly revised 156,000 advance the prior month, …

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Online Sales Set $7.4 Billion Black Friday Record

The Associated Press reports: This year’s Black Friday was the biggest ever for online sales, and Adobe Analytics says carts filled on phones, computers and tablets rang up $7.4 billion in transactions. That ranks just behind the $7.9 billion haul of last year’s Cyber Monday, which holds the one-day record for online sales. Adobe measures sales at 80 of the …

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GALLUP: 34 Million Americans Know Someone Who Died In Last Five Years Due To Lack Money For Healthcare

Gallup Polling reports: More than 13% of American adults — or about 34 million people — report knowing of at least one friend or family member in the past five years who died after not receiving needed medical treatment because they were unable to pay for it, based on a new study by Gallup and West Health. Nonwhites, those in …

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WINNING: Farm Bankruptcies Up 24% Over Last Year

Wisconsin’s WHBY reports: The number of farms seeking bankruptcy protection grew 24% over the last year, according to an American Farm Bureau Federation analysis of recent federal court data. The analysis found farm bankruptcies are rising fastest in the Northwest. “We’ve seen low crop prices, low livestock prices for a number of years now,” said chief economist John Newton. “On …

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Apple Pledges $2.5B To Combat CA Housing Crisis

Axios reports: Apple CEO Tim Cook, unveiling a $2.5 billion plan to help alleviate California’s housing availability and affordability crisis, told Axios in an interview that Apple feels “a profound responsibility” to the region where it was born and thrived.  “It’s just unsustainable,” Cook said. “This problem is so big that the public sector cannot do it alone.” Many teachers …

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October Employment Report Better Than Forecast

The New York Times reports: The American job market has lost some momentum, but a major auto strike was not enough to knock it off the road in October. Ordinarily, a gain of 128,000 jobs would count as a weak month. But the figure looks stronger accounting for the strike at General Motors, which shaved close to 50,000 workers from …

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Commerce Dept: US Economy Slowed In Third Quarter

NPR reports: President Trump is counting on a strong economy to help him win reelection next year. But new numbers from the Commerce Department show the economy lost steam during the summer and early fall. GDP — the broadest measure of economic activity — grew at an annual rate of just 1.9% during the third quarter. That’s a deceleration from …

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2019 Budget Deficit Near $1 Trillion, Seven Year High

CNBC reports: The U.S. Treasury on Friday said that the federal deficit for fiscal 2019 was $984 billion, a 26% increase from 2018 but still short of the $1 trillion mark. The gap between revenues and spending was the widest it’s been in seven years. The government said corporate tax revenues totaled $230 billion, up 12%, thanks to a rebound …

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Jobs: Hiring Slows, Wages Fall, Unemployment Dips

USA Today reports: Hiring slowed in September as employers added 136,000 jobs, fueling recession concerns and possibly raising the odds of another Federal Reserve rate cut this month. The unemployment rate fell from 3.7% to 3.5%, a new 50-year low, the Labor Department said Friday. Economists expected 145,000 job gains, according to a Bloomberg survey. Partly offsetting the weak showing: …

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Inflation Exceeds Forecast As Healthcare Costs Rise

Bloomberg reports: A measure of underlying U.S. inflation accelerated by more than forecast to a one-year high in August, signaling inflation was already firming ahead of fresh tariffs on Chinese goods this month that may push prices higher for Americans. The core consumer price index, which excludes food and energy, rose 0.3% from the prior month and was up 2.4% …

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Trump’s Approval Rating Sags Amid Recession Fears

The Hill reports: President Trump’s approval rating dropped 6 points in a new poll as Americans voice concerns about the economy. Trump’s approval rating fell to 38 percent after July’s career-high 44 percent approval, based on the ABC News/Washington Post poll released Tuesday. The survey also found that 46 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of the economy and …

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Temp Census Workers Buoy Lackluster Jobs Report

NPR reports: U.S. employers added 130,000 jobs in August, according to a monthly snapshot from the Labor Department, signaling a slowdown in the pace of job growth. Forecasters surveyed by the Reuters news service had predicted job gains of around 158,000. The unemployment rate held steady at 3.7%. Manufacturers added just 3,000 jobs. The jobs total would have been lower …

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