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USA finance and payments live updates: Child Tax Credit, Inflation, interest rates, CPI report, S.S. disabilit – AS USA


US Finance: Latest Updates

Headlines: 18 June 2022

– 30-year fixed-rate mortgage interest rates hit 5.78%, the highest level since late 2008

Bitcoin price falls below $20,000 for the first time since 2020, registering a 32% fall in the last month

– Fed outlines reasons for 0.75 percentage point hike for interest rates why have they increased rates?

– Pandemic-era relief measure providing free meals for school students comes to an end

– Fed Chair Powell: We are “focused on returning inflation to our 2 percent objective

Elon Musk faces $258bn lawsuits for alleged Dogecoin “pyramid scheme” 

– Biden may remove certain trade tariffs on China in a bid to reduces prices for consumers

Real wages fell 0.6 percent while inflation led to an average price increase of one percent across the market in May

– ‘Shrinkflation‘ reduces product sizes for consumers

Helpful links & Information 

– Gas prices in US: which countries have the most expensive gasoline?

– When will President Biden make a decision over student loan  forgiveness

– Do I have to pay taxes on Social Security benefits? How much?

Related News from AS USA:

Bitcoin price slumps after weeks of losses

The price of Bitcoin has fallen below $20,000 for the first time since 2020. The price of BTC, along with a lot of other cryptocurrencies, enjoyed huge increased during the pandemic thanks in part to an influx of new investors and cash flooding in from the US-distributed stimulus checks. Confidence has drained from the crypto markets in recent weeks, exacerbated by a series of crypto failures

What is the maximum Social Security retirement benefit I can get?


What is the maximum Social Security retirement benefit I can get?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees the financial support programmes available to millions of Americans, the vast majority of whom receive retirement benefits. In February 2022 around 65 million people received some form of support from the SSA, of which more than 50 million claimed retirement benefits, 77.1% of the total.

As the American population becomes gradually older, a greater proportion of the country is expected to begin receiving support from the SSA. If you’ve not yet claimed your first retirement benefits payments, here’s how much you could stand to receive from the SSA…

Read more

“Why don’t you tell them what Exxon’s profits were this quarter? Exxon made more money than God this year.”

“The oil companies, they have 9,000 permits to drill. They’re not drilling… Why aren’t they drilling? Cause they make more money not producing more oil — the price goes up.”

“We have been in regular contact with the administration, informing them of our planned investments to increase production and expand refining capacity in the United States.”

Fed Reserve points to global factors pushing up inflation in the US

How much control does the United States have to control inflation? The country’s central bank, the Federal Reserve, has raised interest rates substantial in a bid to curb economic growth but there is an acceptance that the price increase is caused by factors out of their control. 

I think events of the last few months have raised the degree of difficulty, created great challenges,” Fed Chair Jerome Powell said earlier this week. “And there’s a much bigger chance now that it will depend on factors that we don’t control.”

Gasoline dips slightly, falling below $4.989

The national average price of gasoline is final experiencing a slight decline after months of relentless growth that was pricing out motorists and causing price rises across the board. AAA calculate that the average price on Saturday, 18 June in $4.989, but the actual figure you are paying varies greatly around the country. Californians are still facing prices well above $6 per gallon, due in part to the state’s high fuel taxes. 

Republican Study Committee pushes for Social Security cuts

The Republican Study Committee (RSC), the largest conservative caucus in the House, released its annual model federal budget proposal. They say it will take 7 years to balance the federal budget. Dubbed the “Blueprint to save America,” would cut federal spending by $16.6 trillion.

However those cuts would not include military spending, which would actually be boosted by 5 percent. It also prevents funding to abortion rights groups and includes more than 30 anti-abortion measures. It lists eight bills aimed at barring principles based on “critical race theory”, though this conservative bogeyman has not been proven to exist and is wielded to attack re-evaluations of American history.

Fed Reserve targets inflation drop

The Congressional mandate of the Federal Reserve is to create the conditions for maximum employment, for example to have the maximum number of people who want a job to have one, and price stability. 

“Labor market is extremely tight and inflation is far too high,” said Powell. 

An increase of .75 percent has been announced and more increases, at a smaller scale are expected in the weeks and months ahead. What such high interest rates could mean is forced lower spending, potentially putting many jobs at risk. But the Fed will power on in the face of this,

What next for gas prices in the US?

The 4th July is normally a time to celebrate for Americans but it could be a bleak holiday for President Biden, according to pollster and political strategist Frank Luntz. He told CNBC’s ‘Squawk Box’ that the high price of gasoline, groceries and other essentials could come to a head in two weeks time when Americans all across the country begin to celebrate Independence Day. 

Millions will be filling up their tanks for long drives to see family and friends. Those who are hosting will be stocking up the cupboards with food for cook-outs and barbecues. There is also an uptick in spending habits at this time more generally. If that all happens as usual this year the demand will increase substantially and prices will likely do the same. 

“The Federal Reserve’s strong commitment to our price stability mandate contributes to the widespread confidence in the dollar as a store of value. To that end, my colleagues and I are acutely focused on returning inflation to our 2 percent objective.”

“Meeting our dual mandate also depends on maintaining financial stability… The Fed’s commitment to both our dual mandate and financial stability encourages the international community to hold and use dollars.”

Why a Federal Reserve interest rate hike could help to lower inflation


Why a Federal Reserve interest rate hike could help to lower inflation

On Wednesday the Federal Reserve announced that it was enacting an interest rate hike worth three-quarters of a percentage point. This was the largest single increase since 1994 and comes at a time when the rate of inflation in the United States is spiralling out of control at 8.3% year-on-year. 

But how will this help? And what are the risks associated with using such a blunt tool on an American economy that is still in the process of returning to pre-pandemic conditions? We take a look…

Read more

How is the White House tackling inflation in the US?

Today AAA has calculated that the average cost of a gallon of gasoline in the United States sits at exactly $5. THat is a slight dip on the peak recorded earlier this week but remains extremely high and poses a major headache for Americans at a time when prices are rising across the board. 

This threatens to become even more of a problem in two weeks’ time when millions of Americans are expected to engage in long motor journeys to visit friends and family for Fourth of July celebrations. The White House is under pressure to provide real relief for motorists ahead of the holiday. 

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