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Economy News

Economy News

Today, April 14, 2015, is National Equal Pay Day, according to the National Committee on Pay Equity. This day is dedicated to promote awareness of the gap between men and women’s wages. It is meant to symbolize the progress women have made in catching up with men and the inequalities that still linger.

What should you know about National Equal Pay Day?

According to Bankrate’s Money Pulse survey, less than half of American adults have money in stocks. The exact number, 48%, included adults who invested in pension funds, 401(k) retirement plans, IRAs, mutual funds, ETFs, or those owning individual stocks. The result is a surprisingly low number and seems to be an alarming financial trend.

To compare, about 61% of adults have at least a cup of coffee daily. This shows a drastic difference - more Americans have a clear financial interest in coffee than in stocks. Why is this?

According to a report released by the government Monday, personal consumption expenditures (consumer spending) rose by 0.1% in February. This miniscule increase follows two months of 0.2% declines and has resulted in consumer spending at an all time low.

With the economy improving and more jobs being added, it seems that consumer spending should be increasing. So why the sluggish growth?

Have you noticed the lower-than-normal gas prices as of late? We’re sure you’re probably thankful for them, especially when prices were up to nearly five dollars a gallon not too long ago. The good news is that these gas prices will continue to fall, given that the price of crude oil is still dropping. In fact, since July the price of crude oil has dropped 40%, leaving everyone sort of befuddled with the plummeting prices. Lower gas prices means saving more at the pump, which in turn means that consumers will have more in their pocket to spend during the holiday season.
The Fed is doing all they can to make sure that big banks don’t end up in the same predicament as when the market crashed back in 2008. One step in their prevention clause is to require big banks to ensure they have enough capital put aside.
Once again, we’ve survived another Black Friday. From the crowds to discounts on anything and everything, Black Friday came and went without a hitch. Surprisingly enough, there were only a few scuffles throughout the stores as crazed consumers grappled over TVs, toys, and everything else, braving the long register lines for these heavily discounted items. Consumers, however, spent less during Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend than last year.
Bad news for all of you millennials: saving isn’t one of your strong suits. According to a recent study done by Moody’s Analytics, the savings rate of people 35 and younger has dipped into the negative. This means that the millennials are spending more than they have. Yikes!
According to Credit Suisse’s latest Global Wealth Report, released Tuesday, the richest 1% of people own nearly half the world’s wealth. The report explains that world wealth has reached a record $263 trillion in mid-2014, $20.1 trillion more, and an 8.3 percent increase, over mid-2013. 
The U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the value of the United States dollar against foreign currencies, has reached its highest level in over four years. For a long time, the dollar has been the world’s top business currency. However, the struggling recession had caused many to question the dollar’s “safety” as an investment. With this new high though, America is regaining its strength and showing its economic improvement compared to the rest of the world. At the same time, the Euro and Japanese Yen have been getting weaker due to these countries’ economic problems.
In the first time since 2006, the U.S. poverty rate has dropped. The U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday that the nation’s poverty rate fell to 14.5% in 2013, down from 15% a year earlier. This is the first drop in poverty since 2006, when it was 12.3% Although this may seem like a minor change, this is the first statistically significant decline since the recession, proving that Americans are slowly rebounding.