Weekly Digest – 30 August 2023

Welcome to our Weekly Digest – stay in the know with some recent news updates relevant to business and the economy.

Economy’s solid growth could require more Fed hikes to fight inflation, Powell says at Jackson Hole

The continued strength of the U.S. economy could require further interest rate increases, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said. Powell noted that the economy has been growing faster than expected and that consumers have kept spending briskly — trends that could keep inflation pressures high. He reiterated the Fed’s determination to keep its benchmark rate elevated until inflation is reduced to its 2% target.

Mortgage rates are at a 21-year high. Here’s what that means for you.

Mortgage rates hit a 21-year high this week, a milestone that makes home buying a much more expensive prospect for those who are interested in doing so. What does it mean for those who want to buy a home? What about those who want to sell?

How your business can offer Student Loan Assistance as a benefit

Employer-sponsored student loan assistance is an increasingly popular perk that may help your small business attract and retain talent.

US economy near stalling point as consumer demand weakens, survey says

U.S. business activity approached the stagnation point in August, with growth at its weakest since February as demand for new business in the vast service sector contracted.

How the steep decline in Chinese tourists will cost the U.S. more than $20 billion

America has lost its edge with the world’s highest-spending travelers due to long visa wait times, gun violence and geopolitics. But here’s the silver lining.. As U.S. tourism organizations wait eagerly for inbound Chinese travel to rebound, they are tasked with trying to replace the lost tens of billions of dollars with tourists from other markets. One silver lining has been India, whose travelers spend an average $4,926 per trip and have already returned to the U.S. at pre-pandemic levels.

US economy added 306,000 fewer jobs than previously believed over past year

U.S. job growth was weaker than previously projected over much of the past year.

Housing market to provide a “downside cushion” for US economy

A recession is still in the cards for the U.S. economy, but the housing market’s resilience is likely to make it not that bad, according to a recent Fannie Mae economic forecast report.

Average long-term US mortgage rate jumps to 7.23% this week to highest level since June 2001

The average long-term U.S. mortgage rate climbed further above 7% this week to its highest level since 2001, another blow to prospective homebuyers grappling with rising home prices and a stubbornly low supply of properties on the market.

Majority of small businesses believe US is in recession

More than half of U.S. small business owners believe the economy is already in a recession, marking a slight decrease between July and April, despite most firms reporting their own financial condition was strong, a survey showed.

Global inflation pressures could become harder to manage in coming years, research suggests

Rising trade barriers. Aging populations. A broad transition from carbon-spewing fossil fuels to renewable energy. The prevalence of such trends across the world could intensify global inflation pressures in the coming years and make it harder for the Federal Reserve and other central banks to meet their inflation targets.

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