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News Analysis for the Investor on November 11, 2013

 The US Post Office is to begin Sunday deliveries...just for Amazon. Fitch has downgraded the City of Chicago and the number of female hunters in the US has increased.

| BY Catherine McBreen

Postal service to make Sunday deliveries for Amazon

The US Postal Service has struck a deal with to deliver the company’s packages on Sundays, according to the New York Times.  The Postal Service, who lost nearly $16 billion last year, indicates that while mail delivery on the weekends is a money-loser, package delivery is profitable.  The deal will take effect immediately and benefit from the holiday season.  The Postal Service is limiting Sunday delivery for now to the Los Angeles and New York metropolitan areas.  In 2014 it is expected to expand to Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Phoenix.


US-Europe resume talks on trade agreement

The Associated Press reports that the US and the European Union resumed talks to create a new trade agreement.  The new pact will include services, investment, energy, raw materials and regulatory issues.  Negotiators for both the Obama administration and the EU believe the TTIP agreement will increase trade volume in goods and services representing almost half of global output or approximately $1.08 trillion.  The biggest issue is reducing the red tape surrounding imports and exports.  Experts say that the administrative hassles add approximately 10 to 20 percent to the price of items.  Results of the talks are not expected until sometime in 2014.


Fitch downgrades Chicago

CNBC is reporting that Fitch Ratings cut Chicago’s bond ratings on Friday, citing the city’s sluggish economy and its inability to find a solution to its pension obligations.  The credit ratings agency downgraded $8 billion in Chicago’s unlimited tax general obligation bonds to A- from AA-.  It also cut $497.3 million sales tax bondS to A- from AA- and downgraded $200 million commercial paper notes, 2002 program series A (tax exempt) and B(taxable) to BBB from A.


China expected to cut growth target to 7 percent

According to the Financial Times, China is expected to cut its growth target to 7 percent next year in a sign of the government’s determination to push through structural reforms and make the economy more sustainable.  China has consistently exceeded its annual growth targets but a cut would be an indication of Beijing’s willingness to tolerate slower growth to address debt risks and its soaring property rates.  Current actions would lead to a tighter monetary policy, actions which are perceived to already be in place.


Philippines economy faces uncertainty

The massive typhoon that battered the Philippines will set back what has been a promising economy and make the nation’s troubling unemployment and poverty rates worse than they have been.  USA Today reports that the Philippine GDP has been impressive with growth of 6.6 percent last year.  Growth has been forecast at 6 percent for 2013 and 5.5 percent in 2014.  Unfortunately, the Philippine poverty rate is currently 27.9 percent, a number that is anticipated to increase due to the impact of the storm.


Number of female US hunters surges

The number of women in the US spending time hunting spiked 25 percent between 2006 and 2011.  Fox News reports that while men make up the majority of the 13.7 million hunters in the U.S., 11 percent are women.  Minnesota granted 72,000 hunting licenses to women last year, compared to only 50,000 in 2000.  The spike in female hunters has led to retailers selling smaller firearms and outdoor gear tailored specifically to women. 

About the Author

Catherine McBreen

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.