Deficit Shrinks. On-Track for Five Year Low
The U.S. government posted a smaller budget deficit in August compared to a year ago, keeping the annual gap on track to be the smallest in five years. The Associated Press reports that the Treasury Department says the deficit in August was $147.9 billion, down from $191 billion in August 2012. That brings the budget gap to $755 billion for the first 11 months of the budget year, down 35 percent from $1.2 trillion a year earlier. The government is likely to post a surplus in September, lowering the full-year deficit to $642 billion. That would be the first time the deficit is below $1 trillion in five years. Steady growth, higher taxes and cuts in government spending are helping to lower the deficit.
U.S. Women Have Recovered Jobs… But Not Men
According to the Associated Press, U.S. women have recovered all of the jobs lost during the Great Recession, but men remain 2.1 million jobs short. This is primarily because more men are in the construction and manufacturing industries, which have been slower to recover. Women represent more of the employees in the education, retail and health care industries, which have been recovering faster. August unemployment rates for women were 6.8 percent, but were 7.7 percent for men. In August 68 million women were employed, compared to the 67.97 million who were employed when the recession began. In comparison, 76.2 million men were employed in August compared to 78.3 million immediately before the recession.
European Industrial Output Declines More Than Forecast
Bloomberg is reporting that factory production in the 17-nation euro zone fell 1.5 percent from June, when it gained 0.6 percent. That’s more than the 0.3 percent contraction forecast by economists. Growth in the economy has been restrained by high unemployment in the area and inflation has remained below the 2 percent ceiling for 7 months. Bloomberg’s economists see growth slowing to 0.1 percent in the third quarter. There is a clear risk that the GDP could contract even more and send the region back into recession.
Toys R Us Offers Holiday Incentives
Toys R Us is offering a 10 percent cash reward up to $10 on certain toy purchases through October 31st for its rewards card members and will extend the deadline for holiday returns through January 25. USA Today reports that the company will give customers their cash-back earnings on e-gift cards in November so they can use it for holiday shopping. They are also bringing back free layaway through December 15 with no upfront service fee and no minimum purchase requirements.
United Airlines Posts $0 to $10 Fares
For a short while on Thursday, United Airlines was essentially giving away airline tickets. Passengers reported buying tickets for $5 to $10, according to the Associated Press. United stopped taking bookings through its website and phone centers to prevent more of the tickets from being sold or given away. The website resumed taking reservations around 2:45pm on Thursday. United says the mistake was in the filing of the fares and not a problem with the website. United has not yet decided whether it will honor the tickets.
Twitter Files for IPO
In a tweet sent Thursday afternoon, Twitter revealed it had filed initial paperwork to go public. The company posted to its official Twitter account that it had “confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO.” The social networking website has taken careful steps to ramp up advertising of its services in preparation for the long-anticipated IPO. Most of Twitter’s revenue comes from advertising services, and research firm eMarketer estimates the company will generate $582.8 million in worldwide ad revenue in 2013, up from $288.3 million last year.
Catherine S. McBreen is President of Millionaire Corner. McBreen plans and develops content for Millionaire Corner. Catherine balances editorial content to meet the informational needs of both new and seasoned investors. She designs special monthly surveys on topical issues affecting the economic environment.
McBreen has a B.S. in speech communications from Northwestern University and a J.D. from DePail University College of Law. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, and the Chicago Bar Association.
Well-known for her expertise in the affluent and retirement arenas, McBreen is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. She has been quoted widely by the financial media, including The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Research, Private Asset Management, On Wall Street, Reuters, Bloomberg News, The Dow Jones Newswires and Worth. Cathy has appeared as a guest on CNBC Closing Bell, First Business Morning News, Neal Cavuto at Fox Business News, ABC and CBS radio.
McBreen is co-author with Spectrem President George H. Walper, Jr. of the book "Get Rich, Stay Rich, Pass It On: The Wealth-Accumulation Secrets of America's Richest Families" (Portfolio, January 2008)
Catherine is the mother of four and is involved in many school and community events.