Trade gap widens while private sector jobs are up but not as much as expected. The UAW is increasings dues for members to strengthen its strike fund. US auto sales hit multi-year high. Tesla is now decreasing the number of states being considered for its battery factory. Bitcoin is surging. And what are the top 10 family cars?
Private sector adds 179,000 jobs in May and trade deficit widens
A report from payroll processor ADP shows private-sector employment rose by 179,00 jobs in May. According to Fox Business News, the number missed Wall Street expectations of an increase of 210,000 jobs. The US trade deficit widened to its highest level in two years in April as imports hit a record high. The Commerce Department reported that the trade gap increased 6.9 percent to $47.2 billion. That was the largest since April 2012 and followed March’s revised $44.2 billion gap.
US auto sales increase 11 percent
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that US auto sales rose 11 percent in May, confirming that the cold winter had more to do with lowering demand than a dip in consumer confidence. Industry sales hit 1.6 million vehicles last month and the seasonally adjusted rate hit 16.77 million cars and light trucks. Sales in January and February were below expectations. Among the German brands, BMW was the largest seller followed by Mercedes-Benz. General Motors sales jumped 13 percent. Toyota and Chrysler both posted 17 percent gains . Nissan gained 19 percent and Honda was up 9 percent. Ford sales were up 3 percent.
Bitcoin jumps 80 percent
Bitcoin is up more than 80 percent from its April lows due to good news and wider acceptance. According to CNBC, the price of bitcoin hit a low of $360 in April and had been hovering around $450 since April 25. It now sits at $665. Fifty one countries were recently represented at the Bitcoin 2014 Conference in Amsterdam. An increased interest has also been seen in the Silicon Valley venture capital community. Dish Network has begun to accept the currency. Payment processor Coinbase will hand the crytocurrency for Dish, instantly converting bitcoins into dollars. Rapper Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson is reportedly accepting the currency for his new album. In December, bitcoin reached highs above $1100.
UAW implements dues increase
USA Today reports that UAW delegates approved a dues increase for the first time since 1967. The UAW currently has fewer than 400,000 members, or barely 25 percent of its peak 1.5 million membership in 1979. The proposal raises the dues from the equivalent of 2 hours of pay per month to 2.5 hours. Most members will pay an additional $10 but some will pay an additional $17 per month. The dues increase is expected to add an additional $45 million to the strike fund.
Tesla decreases states in search for battery factory
Tesla Motors is now looking at three sites for its construction of a lithium-ion battery plant in the US. Fox Business News reports that the company has narrowed the search from five states down to three. The plant will produce the batteries in high volumes and at lower costs as a way to help the company drive down the price of the Gen 3 car. The G3 car will cost about $35,000 and is expected to hit the market in late 2016. The five states initially considered for the plant include Nevada, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico and California.
Top 10 family cars
Parents magazine and car-shopping site Edmunds.com has created a list of the top family cars. USA Today reports that the list includes the following: Top Budget Cars: Mazda3 for $17,740 and the Ford Fiesta at $14,925. The Top Hybrid Cars: Toyota Prius for $25,010. The Top Sedans: Mazda6 for $21,785 and Honda Accord for $22,745. Top Wagons: Subaru Outback at $24,320. Top Crossover: Nissan Rogue for $23,650. Top SUVs: Hyundai Santa Fe for $30,750 and Chevrolet Traverse for $31,670. The Top Minivan is the Honda Odyssey for $29,655.
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.