World Bank Cuts Global Outlook
The World Bank lowered the global economic outlook on Wednesday forecasting a global growth rate of 2.2 percent rather than the 2.4 percent projected earlier. According to Bloomberg, this is a lower growth rate than the 2.3 percent experienced in 2012. The forecast was lowered primarily due to a slowdown in emerging economies where the growth rate was lowered from 5.5 percent down to 5.1 percent. China's growth forecast was also lowered from 8.4 percent down to 7.7 percent. The US growth rate was increased from 1.9 to 2.0 percent. Japan's rate was also increased. The World Bank projects a global growth rate of 3 percent for 2014.
2012 Provides Biggest U.S. Oil Output Gain in History
The Wall Street Journal reports that the US posted the biggest increase in oil production in the world in 2012 and the largest increase in US history. Oil production in the US jumped over 1 million barrels per day or 14 percent to 8.9 million barrels per day. This increase helped offset supply shocks in other parts of the world and came primarily from new tight-oil fields in North America. In volume terms, last year's gains of 1.04 million barrels a day surpassed the earlier biggest US increase of 640,000 barrels a day recorded in 1967.
U.S. to Have Smallest Deficit in Five Years
The US government remains on track to post its smallest budget deficit in five years as higher taxes and an improving economy boost revenue. According to the Wall Street Journal, the budget deficit for the first eight months of the fiscal year which began October 1 totaled $626.33 billion, down about 26 percent from the same period a year ago. The government isn't spending less. Outlays totaled $2.427 trillion from October through May, up from $2.408 trillion a year ago. Revenues have jumped 15 percent thanks to higher payroll taxes and tax rates for households making more than $450,000. The downside to the improving fiscal picture is that there is less pressure on lawmakers to make true reforms.
Eight Individuals Charged With Hacking U.S. Payroll and Financial Firms
US Prosecutors announced fraud and other charges against eight alleged members of an international cybercrime ring that the government believes hacked into the computers of more than a dozen large financial institutions and the US military's payroll service. According to the Associated Press, the scheme was led by Oleksiy Sharapka of Kiev, Ukraine, who remains at large. Sharapka was released from a Massachusetts prison and deported in 2012. Four of the defendants are in custody. Financial institutions whose records were hacked include: Aon Hewitt, ADP, Citibank, E-Trade, Electronic Payments, Inc., Fundtech Holdings LLC, iPayment Inc, JP Morgan Chase, Nordstrom Bank, PayPal, TD Ameritrade, TIAA-CREF, USAA, Veracity Payment Solutions and the payroll arm of the US Department of Defense.
Most Expensive State for Car Repair
CarMD.com's annual cost of car repair study indicates that New Jersey is now the most expensive state for car repairs, while Vermont is the cheapest. The average diagnostics and repair bill in New Jersey is $393, as reported in USA Today. Average repair costs across the nation were $367.84, a 10 percent increase from a year ago. The report did blame Hurricane Sandy for the increase in costs in New Jersey. Failure of individuals in the Northeast to replace their catalytic converters also increased overall costs in the Northeast.
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.