Boston suffers $333 million of damage to its economy due to bombings
The Boston Marathon bombings inflicted as much as $333 million in damage to the local economy in lost wages, retail sales and infrastructure damage according to preliminary estimates. According to CNBC, total business losses within the “Impact Zone” were at least $10 million. Other losses include the value of tickets for cancelled sports events, symphony and theater events, lost fares on the subway and train system and multiple other costs. Wages and retail losses were also large on day of the "lockdown".
Jobless claims fall to 5 year low
The Associated Press reports that the Labor Department indicates that the number of Americans seeking unemployment last week fell to a seasonally adjusted 324,000. The number points to fewer layoffs and possibly more hiring. Applications for unemployment are a proxy for layoffs. The unemployment rate will be released on Friday and is expected to remain unchanged at 7.6 percent.
US trade deficit falls 11 percent
The US trade deficit fell in March 11 percent to $38.8 billion, down from $43.6 billion in February, according to the Commerce Department. The Associated Press indicates that the daily flow of imported crude oil dropped to the lowest level in 17 years contributing to the trade levels. The deficit with China also hit a three year low. For the first three months of 2013, the trade deficit is averaging 5.9 percent lower than a year ago.
OECD warns Italy against economic policy changes
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has warned Italy that its new government must stick to implementing the agreed upon austerity measures, according to CNBC. The public debt to GDP ratio is nearing 130 percent and includes a heavy debt redemption schedule. The OECD praised Italy for progress for the implementation of recent reforms, most of which were implemented by the prior government administration.
European Central Bank cuts main refinancing rate to 0.5 percent
The European Central Bank, or ECB, cut its main refinancing rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 0.5 percent on Thursday, which indicates it has concerns about falling inflation rates and rising unemployment in the eurozone. According to the Financial Times, the recent release of numerous weak economic reports increased pressure on the ECB to act. Its last cut was 10 months ago.
Federal Reserve may increase or decrease QE3
The US Federal Reserve changed its stance on its quantitative easing policy in a statement after its rate setting Federal Open Market Committee meeting. According to the Financial Times, the Fed has indicated in the past that it may reduce its monthly purchase of assets. The asset purchase has been responsible for keeping interest rates exceptionally low. At the conclusion of the two day meeting on Wednesday, the FOMC indicated that it could move the asset purchase rate either up or down depending upon the economic need.
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.