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Money & The Economy

News on Finance, Money, markets and the economy

May Real Estate Market the Fastest on Record; Prices Up 6.3%

Home for sale

The typical home that sold in May went under contract in 34 days, according to Redfin (www.redfin.com), the next-generation real estate brokerage. May broke April’s record of 36 days, which was the fastest month Redfin had recorded going back to 2010.  Amid the speed, the national median home sale price rose to $305,600, a 6.3 percent increase from May 2017 across the 174 markets that ...

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Paypal biggest winner, Apple Pay biggest loser as e-payment options

Mobile payment

Paypal gained the most ground as Apple Pay lost the most market share among e-payment solutions, according to findings from the sixth annual 2018 Mobile Payments & Fraud Survey (MPFS), which measures the state of mobile payments and mobile channel fraud from each prior survey year. In surveying nearly 600 merchants, the report found that several major mobile wallets have lost traction, ...

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Mortgage Demand Falls to Three-Year Low

Home for sale

Mortgage lenders reported a net negative profit margin outlook for the seventh consecutive quarter, as rising home prices and tight housing supply continue to put a squeeze on mortgage demand, according to Fannie Mae’s Q2 2018 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey®. When asked about consumer demand for GSE eligible and government loans, the net share of lenders reporting growth in the past ...

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Used Vehicle Prices Hit Record High

Car lot

Shoppers seeking bargains on used vehicles might find them harder to come by when they head to the dealership this summer, according to the latest Used Car Report released by the experts at Edmunds.  In the first quarter of 2018, the average transaction price for a used vehicle was $19,657. This reflects a 2.2 percent increase in sales price from the ...

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Cheesecake Factory fined $4.5 million for Wage Theft

Cheesecake factory

The Labor Commissioner’s Office has found Cheesecake Factory Restaurants, Inc. liable in a $4.57 million wage theft case that underpaid 559 janitorial workers managed by Magic Touch Commercial Cleaning. Americlean Janitorial Services Corp., the Cheesecake Factory’s janitorial contractor that subcontracted the work to Magic Touch Commercial Cleaning, is also liable for the wage theft, which occurred at eight locations in ...

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Pipe Producers Challenge Claims That Steel Tariffs Will Harm Pipeline Industry

The American Line Pipe Producers Association (ALPPA), a domestic coalition of large diameter line pipe producers, vigorously challenges recent claims that U.S. pipeline developers are unable to source large diameter welded pipe (LDWP) for their projects domestically and that steel Section 232 tariffs imposed by President Trump are placing U.S. pipeline projects in jeopardy due to cost. First, there is ...

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Commodity Prices Up in May on Reduced Supply

Commodities rose in May as supplies were reduced due to higher temperatures and increased demand. The Bloomberg Commodity Index Total Return performance was higher for the month, with 15 out of 22 Index constituents posting gains. Credit Suisse Asset Management observed the following: Energy increased 2.66%, led higher by Natural Gas, after persistent above-normal temperatures throughout the US raised cooling ...

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Report: The 8 Best Cars to Buy Now

Ford car lot auto dealership car sales

U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in rankings and consumer advice, today unveiled June’s list of the Best Cars to Buy Now. “Auto sales were up in May, so some automakers will likely pull back on incentives, especially on popular models,” says Jamie Page Deaton, managing editor of U.S. News Best Cars. “Still, the Best Cars to Buy Now shows ...

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Contrary to Hype, ‘Gig Economy’ hasn’t grown in two decades

Today’s BLS Contingent and Alternative Employment Arrangements survey results represent an important addition to our knowledge regarding the level and distribution of non-traditional work arrangements in the US economy. The first of their kind in a dozen years, the data show that between 2005 and 2017 the share of independent contractors, on-call workers, temporary help agency workers and workers provided by ...

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Housing Sentiment Continues to Strengthen, but affordability a concern

Home for sale

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI)rose 0.6 points in May to 92.3, reaching a new all-time survey high for the second consecutive month. However, consumer attitudes about buying and selling a home have continued to diverge as home prices have increased. While the net share of respondents who reported that now is a good time to sell a home increased ...

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Monthly Robocall Volumes Surpass 4 Billion Mark for First Time Ever in May

Robocalls

For the first time ever, Americans were hit by more than 4 billion robocalls in a single month during May, crossing a new threshold for the nation’s robocalling dilemma and marking the third straight month that consumers have endured a record-setting pace for robocalls. The 4.06 billion robocalls received in May marked a 55% increase in calling volumes over May ...

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US IT Job Growth Hits A Wall; Talent Shortage To Blame

obamacare smokers

The number of IT jobs grew 0.03% sequentially last month to 5,337,000 according to TechServe Alliance, the national trade association of the IT & Engineering Staffing and Solutions industry. On a year-over-year basis, IT employment grew by 0.85% since May 2017 adding 44,900 IT workers. Engineering employment increased by 0.18 percent sequentially to 2,591,000. On a year-over-year basis, growth in engineering employment ...

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Gas Prices Hit Four-Year High, Truck and SUV Sales Not Affected

With the Trump economy in high gear, gas prices reached their highest point in four years in May, with a gallon costing motorists an average of $2.90. According to a new trend report released by the experts at Edmunds, car shoppers aren’t letting these rising costs deter them from buying the cars they want — notably, trucks and SUVs. “On the ...

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U.S Treasury Grants Americans Abroad One Year Reprieve From the June 15, 2018 Repatriation Tax Payment

Earlier this week, the U.S. Treasury granted significant relief to Americans abroad subject to the Repatriation tax. According to the Treasury release, Americans abroad with less than $1,000,000 in total Repatriation tax liability are de-facto granted a one year extension to make the first payment that was otherwise due by June 15, 2018. A bit of background. The Repatriation tax forced large U.S. ...

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Better off Renting? Renters Can Create More Wealth than Buyers in Many U.S. Housing Markets Now

With housing markets around the U.S. nearing the peak in their cycles, renters who reinvest their money have an increasingly better chance at creating wealth than individuals who purchase a home, according to the latest national index produced by Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University faculty. This marginal move in the Beracha, Hardin & Johnson Buy vs. Rent (BH&J) Index shows an increased possibility of ...

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