May 13, 2022
Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates.
Americans are rapidly taking on debt
Consumer debt levels climbed by $52.4 billion in March, according to Federal Reserve data released last Friday. Pent-up spending after lockdown and consumers turning to credit cards to cover rising cost of living are likely factors, says credit analyst.
Feds increase interest rates by 0.50%
The Federal Reserve hiked interest rates by a half percentage point. The increase is the largest that the central bank has raised rates in 22 years and is meant to curb inflation, which is the worst America has seen in 40 years.
The unemployment rate holds steady at 3.6%
April saw 428,000 jobs added to the economy, marking the 16th straight month of job growth. The US job market has almost completely recovered from the pandemic, being only 1.2 million jobs away from pre-pandemic levels.
The Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit has arrived
In an effort to find fraud in the financial industry, the US Securities and Exchange Commission announced last week that it is adding new positions to its team policing cryptocurrency markets.
Wall Street closes at a low last Friday to end a volatile week
All three major US indexes decreased on Friday, despite a promising increase in job growth for April. Analysts expect skepticism in the market to persist until inflation appears under control.
Some banks are quicker than others to raise rates on savings accounts
Several banks have raised yields on savings accounts – welcome news for savers who have suffered from low returns and record inflation. Some institutions are moving faster than others in making these changes.
Used vehicle prices are lowering but still up 14% over last year
Used car prices have dropped 6.4% since reaching an all-time high in January, potentially signaling the end of the surge in prices driven by inflation and supply chain shortages for new vehicles.
Intuit, owner of TurboTax, to pay $141 million in restitution
On Wednesday, New York’s attorney general announced that TurboTax used misleading methods to encourage low-income Americans to use their commercial service to file their taxes instead of free, federally-supported programs.
Wealthy Americans seek second passports as ‘Plan B’
There is a trend among American billionaires seeking a ‘plan B’ to living in the United States. They cite the pandemic, climate change, and political turmoil as the top reasons why they invest heavily in foreign countries in exchange for “golden passports”.