Pertinent Category: Daily Economy

Financial First Steps: Managing Your Credit Score

– July 17, 2015

Many young adults have extremely limited credit histories. This means that we need to build our credit scores by starting to think about different credit cards and loans.


Financial First Steps: You and Your Credit Score

– July 16, 2015

You’ve probably heard about it a hundred times, and you know it’s important, but what exactly is a FICO score? Understanding what factors go into to calculating your credit score is extremely important to your financial success. Imagine going to school and not knowing what factors contribute to your grade. It would probably be hard to get an A.


Signs of a Strengthening Economy

– July 15, 2015

Today we release the July edition of AIER’s Business Conditions Monthly, our bird’s-eye look at the economy. This month’s edition includes an overview of the labor market, including an account of the progress made since the Great Recession, as well as a look at the challenges that remain.


An Unexpected Sign of Economic Weakness

– July 14, 2015

Following a string of stronger economic data, this morning’s retail sales report showed some unexpected weakness in a key area of the economy.


A Milestone for the Economic Expansion

– July 13, 2015

This month the current business-cycle expansion, which started in June 2009, has reached the 73-month mark. This makes it equal in length to the previous expansion, which lasted from November 2001 to December 2007. Since there are no signs of an imminent recession, it is a good bet that the current expansion will last more than 73 months. This will make it, so far, the fourth longest expansion since the end of World War II.


Amid Controversy, Alexander Hamilton Gets a Necktie

– July 10, 2015

With Treasury Secretary Jack Lew planning to shrink Alexander Hamilton’s image on the $10 bill, opponents of the plan are making their feelings known in an interesting way.


Washington Post Cites AIER College Town Studies

– July 9, 2015

The Washington Post highlights AIER’s rankings of best college towns and best post-college destinations in a prominent article this week. Author Jeffrey Selingo, former editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education, writes about the factors that go into a student’s decision about where to go to college, and finds that the location matters a lot.


Uber, Airbnb and Government Regulation

– July 8, 2015

Uber may have changed the way people look at taxi services, but as a story in yesterday’s New York Times shows, it is not immune from the same calls for regulation that another “sharing economy” service, Airbnb, has faced in recent years.


Financial First Steps: Paying Your Bills on Time

– July 7, 2015

In order to be in a position to pursue your dreams, you need to have your financial basics down. The most important of these is your ability to pay bills on time. The key to accomplishing this is to stay organized. The importance of paying your bills on time cannot be overstated. Late payments negatively affect your credit score, which determines how much and at what interest rate you can borrow.


Economy Grows on a Shaky Foundation of Debt

– July 6, 2015

Median household income has remained stagnant over the past quarter century, when controlled for inflation. With rising needs like cell phones, computers and cable TV, many U.S. households have had to go into debt to maintain a middle-class standard of living. This has provided a boost to the overall economy, because consumer spending makes up nearly 70 percent of total spending. As consumer spending goes, so goes the U.S. economy. But there is a problem with this solution.


Workforce Dropouts Help Push the June Unemployment Rate to a 7-year Low

– July 2, 2015

June’s Employment Situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed 432,000 Americans dropped out of the labor force, the third-largest decline in four and a half years. That drop pushed the participation rate, the percentage of the working-age population either employed or looking for a job, to 62.6 percent, the lowest since 1977.


Investors Favoring Stocks Over Bonds

– July 1, 2015

Investors are buying stocks. The level of stock ownership as a share of portfolios is at a level only seen in 2000 and 2006-2007. The share of mutual fund investments in stock funds is almost 62 percent, according to data from the Investment Company Institute. It makes sense that investors are favoring stocks. Bond yields are low, the economy looks healthy, and consumer sentiment is strong. Strong stock performance has also pushed holdings as a share of the portfolio upward. However, we urge investors to exercise caution.