Friday, November 11, 2016

Trump Proclaims Hike in Infrastructure Spending, Investors Bet on Global Reflation

Donald Trump declared in his acceptance speech of the presidency that America would now focus on an economic plan that would induce infrastructure spending to inadvertently create more American jobs: “we are going to fix our inner cities, and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals. We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it.”

It is likely that if Trump delivers on his promise that the effects are not only going to be felt within US borders. Because the US economy is the world’s largest, the US bond market is ultimately the reference point for all other bonds around the world. This led analysts at M&G Investments to contemplate whether his election victory sparked “the end of global austerity” as investors bet on a long-lived surge in global inflation.

Right now, inflation is relatively at a minimum, sunk to historic lows since the start of the recession almost a decade ago. Much of the developed world is currently battling deflation – less money in circulation, more purchasing power – so if a notable hike in inflation or reflation comes, several markets around the world would be on a learning curve. Investors have bet that the American fiscal stimulus will be recreated in European and Asian markets, therefore amplifying the universal effect.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Wall Street Effects of Trump’s Presidential Victory

There are several economic impacts of the presidential win Donald Trump took home last night, and some are immediate! Investors are relocating money to where they believe will produce the higher return based on predicted upcoming policy changes. For example, it is noted that the election of Trump effectively marks the end to the gun control agenda pushed by Democrats over the course of the last few years (or at the very least, puts a pin in it). Thus, firearm manufacturer stocks plummeted overnight, causing Smith & Wesson’s shares to drop 10.21% and Sturm Ruger’s to drop 12.29%!

Text Box:  It is believed that it was Trump’s acceptance speech that helped reassure investors, encouraging hopes that he will moderate his more extreme positions when actually in office. This was the final push, however capital economists suspect the first factor that played was the Brexit incident, where the majority of British voters called to leave the European Union. That initial shock may have created better preparation for a surprise outcome and to quickly re-position for a fast recovery.

Fitch, one of the Big Three credit rating agencies, released a report warning of the Trump Plan’s effect for America’s creditworthiness in the medium-term. An excerpt is quoted, “tax cuts would increase household disposable income, which could boost short-term growth when coupled with deregulation and higher public investment. But this would depend on how far such measures are offset by potential negative factors such as a hit to private investment from policy uncertainty, financial market developments (for example a rising dollar and falling equities), and adverse trade effects."

Fitch also forewarns suffering of US growth and rising prices if Trump were to pull out of NAFTA and impose new tariffs on Chinese imports.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Will the Fed Hike Interest Rates this December?

This week, the Federal Reserve Board is to meet to go over interest rate policy and the current economic standing of the United States. It is not expected that interest rates will rise this session, due to the election and the Fed’s strategy to not step into that spotlight, however it won’t be a surprise if members of the Fed’s policy making Open Market Committee (FOMC) lock in a higher rate during it’s next meeting in December.

Those pushing for an increase in interest rates argue that because the economy is nearing its full employment capacity, further reductions in the unemployment rate will pressure wages to raise with the rates. This translates to higher inflation.

The opposing ARGUMENT sheds light on the fact that the percentage of prime age (25 – 54) workers who have jobs is still down almost 2.0% since the 2008 recession; even though the unemployment rate is low, it may not be accurate due to people giving up looking for work because hope of finding a job was lost.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Tax Policy Center Releases New Analysis: Trump’s Tax Plan Will Shrink GDP by 4% Over the Next Two Decades

Donald Trump, 2016 presidential candidate, created a tax plan (titled The Trump Plan), boasting it will create 25 million jobs, boost growth up 4 percent, that it is revenue neutral and that it might even pay for itself.
As according to Trump’s campaign website, The Trump Plan will (1) Reduce taxes across-the-board, especially for working and middle-income Americans who will receive a massive tax reduction, (2) Ensure the rich will pay their fair share, but no one will pay so much that it destroys jobs or undermines our ability to compete, (3) Eliminate special interest loopholes, make our business tax rate more competitive to keep jobs in America, create new opportunities and revitalize our economy and (4) Reduce the cost of childcare by allowing families to fully deduct the average cost of childcare from their taxes, including stay-at-home parents. 
The Trump Plan will collapse the current seven tax brackets to three: (for joint-filers) 12% for income less than $75,000, 25% for income between $75,000 and $225,000 and 33% for income above $225,000 (*brackets for single-filers are ½ the above amounts)
The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center (TPC) organized a new analysis, de-bunking Trump’s vision-statements from the true effects of his proposed policy. Rather than increasing growth, The Trump Plan would substantially reduce economic growth due precisely to the fact that it is not revenue neutral; not even in the slightest! It turns out that his tax plan would be a massive giveaway to the wealthy class, costing over $6 billion to taxpayers, before interest payments, over its first decade in progress. Half the profits would then be directed to the top one percent.
The Wharton Budget Model (PWBM) from the University of Pennsylvania was used to determine TPC’s results. They project larger amounts of spending money being directed into the pockets of average people in the shorter time-span, however by 2025, the plan would make the national debt inflate exponentially causing interest rates to skyrocket for both businesses and consumers.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

MGI Conducts New Study: ¼ Workers Included in “Gig” Workforce

Recently, the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) conducted a study on the “gig” economy and found several comparisons to both lower-income countries and pre-Industrial Revolution United States and Europe.

A “gig” economy refers to a market in which temporary positions and short-term engagements are common, whether the workers be independent contractors, temporary workers, self-employed, part-timers, freelancers and free agents.

Probably the most well-known “gig” company today is Uber, alongside Lyft and TaskRabbit, who all refrain from hiring full-time employees, but rather only hire independent contractors as workers. Jobs such as these may be flexible at times, allowing employees the freedom to set their own schedules and such; however, there are downsides, all of which drip down to the primary concern of every “gig” worker: no predictable earnings or hours.

McKinsey found at the end of their study that approximately one-quarter of the working-age population (U.S. & EU-15) is consolidated in the “gig” workforce with Uber and its digital peers. The actual numbers were between 20% and 30% or 160 million people or so.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Billionaire Calls Chinese Real Estate Market “Biggest Bubble in History”

Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin, the richest man in China and C.E.O. of Dalian Wanda Group, during an interview with CNNMoney on Wednesday called the Chinese real estate market the “biggest bubble in history”. He believes the major problem originates to rising prices in major metropolises and simultaneous falling prices in thousands of smaller cities with several vacant properties. The economy continues to slow, but debt levels rise higher and higher, creating a lot of stress for Chinese investors.

"I don't see a good solution to this problem," Jianlin stated. "The government has come up with all sorts of measures -- limiting purchase or credit -- but none have worked."

The Chinese stock market crashed in June last year, leaving millions of small investors penniless. Now after months of battling to contain the situation, the country’s leaders might have similar issues in the real estate department. Jianlin’s real estate company, Dalian Wanda Group, has gradually reduced business lately because of this, cutting back on their regular services such as developing large shopping malls and office complexes.

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Monday, September 26, 2016

FedEx & UPS Portray U.S. Economic Indicators

One of the easiest ways to analyze the U.S. economy and its activity levels is to look at two of the largest express-delivery companies in the world: FedEx and UPS. Due to the rapid growth of online shopping and to the recovering U.S. economy, both companies have seen rising revenues and margins.

Providing air-express services, carrying packages and freight in over 200 countries is FedEx who reported on Tuesday strong results from 2016’s first-quarter fiscal year. Earnings increased to $2.65 per share, summing up to a grand total of $715 million, up from 2015’s first quarter of $692 million ($2.42 per share). FedEx’s stock price, as of Thursday, was $173 finally up from its 1-year low of $119.

UPS, who holds the title “the largest express-delivery company in the world”, brought $58.3 billion in net income in 2015 (annual total) and is expected to increase 4.4% throughout the end of 2016 and another 4.5% in 2017! Jim Corridore, equity analyst at S&P Global, rated UPS’ stock at $130 per share, although, as of Tuesday, their Class B stock was priced at $109 per share, still up from its 1-year low of $87.

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Housing Inventories Down 10.1% Compared to One Year Ago

New housing statistics show a fall in U.S. home resales, due to skyrocketing home prices caused by lack of inventory. On Thursday, the National Association of Realtors announced a 0.9% decline in existing home sales to an annual rate of 5.33 million units. According to Reuters Polling, economists predicted August would bring sales up 1.1% to 5.45 million units, contrasting July’s 5.39 million, but it seems only the Northeast had a productive month. The unexpected fall is thought to be caused by bad weather in the south disrupting building activity, but there was still a firm rise in single-family dwelling permits!

Compared to one year ago to date, housing inventories have dropped 10.1%! Between July and August, the number of unsold homes on the market fell 3.3% to 2.04 million. At this pace, the entire market’s inventory could be wiped in 4.6 months, compared to last August’s 5.1 months and compared to the universally-viewed “healthy” supply / demand balance of 6.

Although the solidifying job market is starting to raise wages, it is still not enough to keep with high-rising home prices. Home scarcity drove the national median home price up 5.1% to $240,200 last month while the unemployment rate has lingered around 5% since last August. It’s never been a secret: the housing market relies on the job market.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tucson Metro Ranks #3 for Fastest Job Growth!

A recent Bloomberg report conducted by economist Jed Kolko has been released stating Tucson Metro Area is in such a position that it is among the hottest cities for job growth! This report compared metro areas with 500,000 people or more, such as Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Boise City, Toledo and Austin-Round Rock.

Tucson is ranked #3 on the list behind Ogden-Clearfield, Utah (4.6%) and Provo-Orem, Utah (4.6%) at 4.2%; Cape Coral-Fort Meyers, Florida is #10 at 3.7%. Some believe better job security in the southwest is fostering the demand for real estate, giving notion to a possible spike in the home-building market!

As for the metro areas with the slowest job growth, it seems the cities with larger oil industries are more distinguished, including the two Oklahoma cities Tulsa and Oklahoma City. This makes the cities’ struggle with low oil prices apparent on an economic level.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Census Bureau Releases “Best Report Ever”!

Yesterday, the U.S. Census Bureau released an incredible report with new data on the American economy. The report measures growth in three sectors: real median household income, national poverty rate and the percentage of people without health insurance coverage.

For the first time since 2007, before the start of the recession in 2008, real median household income increased! Between 2014 and 2015, real median household income expanded by 5.2% from $53,718 to $56,516!

The 2015 national poverty rate was 13.5%, a 1.2% decrease since 2014 and the largest percentage point drop in poverty since 1999! As of 2015, 43.1 million people were in poverty, a definite upswing from 2014’s 46.6 million.

In 2014, the number of people without health insurance coverage was 33.0 million. 2015 was recorded at 29.0 million, 1.3% down from 2014’s 10.4%!

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Friday, September 9, 2016

Arizona Small Business Inflation Due to Equity Crowdfunding

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed House Bill 2591 into law last April with intent to initiate job creation and develop the state’s economy. Known as the “Intrastate Offering Exemption”, this law is more than your average bill; it’s primary purpose is to allow Arizona small businesses to sell stock online, directly to Arizona investors. It also makes Equity Crowdfunding available to small business owners and entrepreneurs!

Last month in August, the first Equity Crowdfunding Portal was brought to surface: This was created to exhibit entrepreneur projects and bring potential investors together throughout the state of Arizona. Fund My Business AZ Founder & CEO, Nick Andrews stated, "Our vision for this portal is to grow Arizona organically, connect local entrepreneurs with local investors and create jobs while keeping investments within our communities."

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Southern Alabama Funded $5 Million Towards Economic Development Projects

Two Southwest Alabama projects were granted funds totaling almost $5 million from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) last Friday, September 2. It was announced by the deputy assistant secretary of Commerce for Economic Development and chief operating officer of the EDA, Matt Erskine, that $1.9 million will be granted to build an access road to a new aerospace manufacturing facility in Atmore and $2.9 million would go towards a business and technology incubator in Mobile.

The access road will be built in the Rivercane Industrial Park. Matching the EDA’s $1.9 million grant with $580,000 is the city of Atmore who believes the new aerospace manufacturing facility will create 116 jobs and $114 million in private investment.

As for the $2.9 million grant in Mobile, the money will go to the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation for renovation of the former Threaded Fastener Building in downtown Mobile on St. Louis Street. The city of Mobile, local private foundations, private industry, the University of South Alabama and Mobile County will match the project with $1.9 million.

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Friday, September 2, 2016

S&P 500 to Add Eleventh Sector

For the first time since its creation in 1999, the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) has been updated to include an eleventh category in the S&P 500: Real Estate. For over 15 years now, property transactions have been included in the financial sector along with banking and insurance, but as of September 16, real estate companies will be ranked on their own scale. Several analysts believe this will spark an increase in the attention investors pay to real-estate investment trusts.

This new classification is a token of recognition of the real-estate sector growth; this summer proved to be the nation’s hottest housing market in almost a decade! According to the European Public Real Estate Association (ERPA), the real estate sector now accounts for 3.5% of the global equities market with a market capitalization of $1.48 trillion.

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Arizona Job Growth Rises Exponentially

Although Arizona’s unemployment rose 0.2% to 6.0% in June, 76,000 jobs have been gained in the last year. To date, more than 3 million jobs are active in the state, which is more than last years’ time-frame at 2.9 million. Most of the job growth is indebted to the education and health services department with almost 20,000 jobs added since last July and professional and business services, who is up 15,300 jobs over 2015. The construction industry secured 11,000 in the last year, ranking 5th on the list of sector job growth! The only sectors to not report gains in job growth are government, down 700 jobs, and natural resources and mining, down 1,200 jobs.

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Friday, August 26, 2016

Economy Rises as Comcast Expands into Southern Arizona

It’s been over a year since Comcast moved into the old Grand Cinemas building near the Tucson Mall, but Tucson has only begun to feel the economic impact. With so much time spent examining several factors in choosing the right location for the Comcast Center of Excellence, Comcast believes it has made the perfect choice in making Tucson its new home. One major consideration that drove the decision-making was the proximity to Air Force Base Davis-Monthan; the company has plans to hire 10,000 military personnel or military family members by the 2107 end. With that, of the 1,125 employees needed to run the new communications center, 15 percent are ensured to be either veterans or family members of veterans.

Now with over 1,200 Tucson employees, Comcast plans to up their game: “when our customers reach this call center, they will be connected with agents who are best equipped to provide an outstanding experience for our customers,” said Comcast senior director and customer account executive Michael Eastman. To do this, Comcast must bring overseas jobs back to the states, resulting in 450 jobs in Albuquerque, 750 in Spokane, 550 in Charleston and 600 in Fort Collins!

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

VEDA Signs Off to Finance $7.8 Million Towards Economic Development

The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) recently endorsed almost $8 million in financing towards Vermont’s economic development projects. In total, the projects are expected to cost roughly $16.8 million.

The money will be divided among several separate causes, including manufacturing, railway, agriculture, small businesses, coffee, liquor and more!

According to VEDA Chief Executive Officer Jo Bradley, “VEDA is so pleased to be able to provide growth financing to several start-up and early-stage businesses. In addition, VEDA is helping a long-dormant hydroelectric production facility in southern Vermont once again produce renewable energy.”

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Homeownership at a 50-Year Low

Since 2006, the rate of homeownership has slowly fallen to what the U.S. Census Bureau now calls a 50-year low; most American families aren’t buying homes, but they’re still focusing their sights on single-family residences. What this means is the rate of single-family renters has rapidly increased over the last decade and is projected to continue to do so until plateauing eventually in 2018.

This is good news for those investors in single-family rentals! Several institutional investors took advantage of the situation and actually bought foreclosed single-family properties in bulk. They then renovated the “flip houses” and took them to the market, renting them out to meet the existing demand! But still the investors only make up a small portion of all single-family home sales. According to HomeUnion director of research Steve Hovland, institutional investors only accounted for 2.6% of all single-family home sales in the first quarter of 2016, substantially lower than the fourth quarter of 2015 at 4.0%.

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