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Americans’ Personal Finance Sentiment Strengthens, Housing Optimism Follows Suit

Confidence in Home Selling Environment Hits New Survey High

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2014, Results from Fannie Mae’s October 2014 National Housing Survey show Americans’ optimism about the housing market continued its gradual climb amid greater confidence in household income and personal finances. The share of respondents who say they expect their personal financial situation to improve during the next 12 months climbed to 45 percent – seven points higher compared to one year ago – while the share expecting their financial situation to worsen decreased to 10 percent last month. Although consumer attitudes about the direction of the economy remain subdued, with only 40 percent of survey respondents saying the economy is on the right track, the October results mark a 13 percentage point improvement compared to the same time last year.

“Consumers are growing more optimistic about the housing market in the face of broader improvement in economic sentiment,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “The share of consumers who expect their personal finances to get better is near its highest level since the survey’s inception, while those expecting their finances to get worse reached a survey low. Home price expectations rose significantly this month, largely reversing the dip witnessed over the past four months, and the share of consumers who think it’s a good time to sell a home reached another survey high. The narrowing gap between home buying and home selling sentiment may foreshadow increased housing inventory levels and a better balance of housing supply and demand. These results may help drive a healthier housing market in 2015.”

SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS

Homeownership and Renting

  • The average 12-month home price change expectation rose to 2.8 percent.
  • The share of respondents who say home prices will go up in the next 12 months fell by one point to 44 percent. The share who say home prices will go down decreased by one point to 7 percent.
  • The share of respondents who say mortgage rates will go up in the next 12 months rose by three percentage points to 48 percent.
  • Those who say it is a good time to buy a house fell to 65 percent. Those who say it is a good time to sell increased to 44 percent—a new all-time survey high.
  • The average 12-month rental price change expectation rose to 3.7 percent.
  • The percentage of respondents who expect home rental prices to go up in the next 12 months decreased by six percentage points to 49 percent.
  • The share of respondents who think it would be difficult to get a home mortgage today increased by two percentage points.
  • The share who say they would buy if they were going to move fell to 65 percent, while the share who would rent increased to 30 percent.

The Economy and Household Finances

  • The share of respondents who say the economy is on the right track held steady at 40 percent.
  • The percentage of respondents who expect their personal financial situation to get better over the next 12 months increased to 45 percent.
  • The share of respondents who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago remained at 25 percent.
  • The share of respondents who say their household expenses are significantly higher than they were 12 months ago fell slightly to 36 percent.

The most detailed consumer attitudinal survey of its kind, the Fannie Mae National Housing Survey polled 1,000 Americans via live telephone interview to assess their attitudes toward owning and renting a home, home and rental price changes, homeownership distress, the economy, household finances, and overall consumer confidence. Homeowners and renters are asked more than 100 questions used to track attitudinal shifts (findings are compared to the same survey conducted monthly beginning June 2010). To reflect the growing share of households with a cell phone but no landline, the National Housing Survey has increased its cell phone dialing rate to 60 percent as of October 2014. For more information, please see the Technical Notes. Fannie Mae conducts this survey and shares monthly and quarterly results so that we may help industry partners and market participants target our collective efforts to stabilize the housing market in the near-term, and provide support in the future.

For detailed findings from the October 2014 survey, as well as a podcast providing an audio synopsis of the survey results and technical notes on survey methodology and questions asked of respondents associated with each monthly indicator, please visit the Fannie Mae Monthly National Housing Survey page on fanniemae.com. Also available on the site are in-depth topic analyses, which provide a detailed assessment of combined data results from three monthly studies. The October 2014 Fannie Mae National Housing Survey was conducted between October 1, 2014 and October 25, 2014. Most of the data collection occurred during the first two weeks of this period. Interviews were conducted by Penn Schoen Berland, in coordination with Fannie Mae.

Opinions, analyses, estimates, forecasts, and other views of Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) Group included in these materials should not be construed as indicating Fannie Mae’s business prospects or expected results, are based on a number of assumptions, and are subject to change without notice. How this information affects Fannie Mae will depend on many factors. Although the ESR Group bases its opinions, analyses, estimates, forecasts, and other views on information it considers reliable, it does not guarantee that the information provided in these materials is accurate, current, or suitable for any particular purpose. Changes in the assumptions or the information underlying these views could produce materially different results. The analyses, opinions, estimates, forecasts, and other views published by the ESR Group represent the views of that group as of the date indicated and do not necessarily represent the views of Fannie Mae or its management.

Fannie Mae enables people to buy, refinance, or rent a home.

Visit us at http://www.fanniemae.com/progress.

Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/FannieMae.

SOURCE:

Fannie Mae http://www.fanniemae.com

 

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Survey Finds Banking Experience is Improving, But Consumers Are Missing Easy Savings Opportunities

Despite having a checking account, 22 percent of Americans report using alternative banking products like cash checking services

CHERRY HILL, N.J., Sept. 25, 2014, TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, today released its second annual TD Bank Checking Experience Index, which found that the banking experience of Americans has improved year over year. According to the Index, 86 percent of consumers rate their day-to-day experience with their checking account as excellent or very good (compared to 83 percent in 2013) and 85 percent of consumers say their bank is excellent or very good when it comes to accessibility (compared to 83 percent in 2013). The TD Bank Checking Experience Index is a nationwide survey of more than 1,500 consumers with checking accounts at various financial institutions.

Although consumers are generally happy with the services provided by their banks, 22 percent of survey respondents with a bank account say that over the last three months they have used alternative banking products such as check cashing services (12 percent), money transfer agents (11 percent) and payday loans (4 percent). When bank customers were asked why they used alternative banking products, 16 percent said they did not have a particular reason for using non-bank financial services.

“One in five consumers with a bank account are using alternative banking products, which could add needless cost to their monthly budget,” said Ryan Bailey, Executive Vice President, Head of Retail Deposit and Payment Products, TD Bank. “Consumers who are using these types of services should have a conversation with a banker to learn about less expensive financial products that can meet their everyday financial needs.”

Banking Behaviors Continue to Evolve Debit cards and online banking play central roles in the banking behaviors of today’s consumers. A large percentage of those surveyed reported that their experiences with debit cards and online banking are excellent or very good (92 percent and 91 percent, respectively). Of the 23 banking transactions that checking account holders report making each month, on average, 10 are debit card purchases and six are conducted through online banking.

Across all survey respondents, 60 percent of checking account owners said their debit card is an essential service. An even larger number of Millennials (74 percent) can’t imagine not having a debit card. When it comes to online baking, 51 percent of consumers cite it as their preferred channel to conduct checking account transactions.

While services like debit cards and online banking are both vital, the Index found that a personal connection remains important to consumers. When asked about the last time they had a question or concern regarding their checking account, the majority of respondents still rely on a telephone call or a visit to a bank location to have questions answered. However, behaviors are evolving. Telephone outreach for issue resolution grew almost 9 percent over the past year (34 percent in 2013 vs. 37 percent in 2014) and in-person resolution at a bank location declined by 15 percent (40 percent in 2013 vs. 34 percent in 2014).

Triggers for Switching Banks Include Life Events and Fees The TD Index data also reveals that fees and life events remain major triggers for changing banks. More than one third (38 percent) say they would close their primary checking account or consider leaving their bank because of fees. However, only eight percent of respondents had closed or switched their primary checking account in the past two years, down from 12 percent in the 2013. Of the eight percent of respondents who reported closing or switching checking accounts in the past two years, the main reason for doing so was a life event such as moving (29 percent), followed by bank fees (27 percent).

Advice for Consumers Based on the results of the Index, Bailey offered advice to help consumers improve their banking experience while getting the most out of their checking accounts:

  • With 60 percent of Americans saying they can’t imagine not having a debit card, consumers should have a plan of action if their card is misplaced or stolen. They should check to see if their bank offers on-the-spot debit card replacement and access to 24/7 customer service.
  • Only 13 percent of Americans are using reloadable prepaid cards. This relatively new product category offers many of the benefits of a checking account, such as the ability to receive a paycheck through direct deposit and to make purchases online, and can serve as an introduction to banking for the population that currently depends on alternative financial service providers.
  • Nearly two thirds (62 percent) of Americans say their bank is offering products and services that take advantage of new technologies like mobile apps and mobile deposit. That means that 38 percent of account holders may not be enjoying the conveniences that modern banks are providing. Consumers who want access to the latest banking technologies may want to consider trying a bank that offers their customers the ability to manage their finances in more ways.

Survey Methodology The study was conducted among a nationally representative group of consumers from August 25 through September 1, 2014. The sample size of 1,510 consumers has a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percent. The survey was hosted by global research company Angus Reid Public Opinion.

About Angus Reid Public Opinion Angus Reid Public Opinion is the Public Affairs practice of Vision Critical—a global research company. Vision Critical is a leader in the use of the Internet and rich media technology to collect high-quality, in-depth insights for a wide array of clients.

About TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 8 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at approximately 1,300 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth®, and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit www.tdbank.com. Find TD Bank on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TDBank and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TDBank_US.

TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol “TD”. To learn more, visit www.td.com.

SOURCE:

http://www.td.com

 

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Zillow Ranks Top Places Where Mom-and-Pop Landlords Make the Most Money

Homeowners turned landlords are most profitable in Oklahoma City, Okla. in short-term profit; San Jose, Calif., in the long-term profit, according to a Zillow Rentals Analysis

SEATTLE, Aug. 15, 2014, Zillow today named the Oklahoma City area the top place where mom-and-pop landlords stand to make the most money on their rental property on a month-to-month basis.  A Zillow Rentals analysisi looked at the top 50 U.S metros to determine which areas provide the best short-term return on investment for landlords. Rental property owners in the Oklahoma City metro area can expect to profit $536 per month on the median home when comparing anticipated rental income versus their assumed monthly mortgage payment.

Mom-and-pop landlords are homeowners who have turned their personal home into a rental rather than selling it when they move.

Zillow has also named the best places for landlords interested in long-term profitsii. When looking at rental income, tax benefits and accumulated home equity (thanks to rapid home value appreciation), landlords in San Jose, California, make the most money: $8,927 per month, or $107,122 per year. The majority of this “profit” is derived from earned but unrealized equity distributed evenly each month over the next six years. Most, if not all, of this profit will not be realized until the landlord sells the property.

“When deciding if they should sell their home or rent it out, most mom-and-pop landlords are primarily concerned with whether or not they can cover their mortgage payment each month – they simply can’t absorb monthly losses like professional investors,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. “However, the greatest returns are actually in markets like San Jose and San Francisco where there are short-term monthly losses, but the long-term earned equity makes them the best markets to invest in.”

Nationally, the Zillow Rent Index has increased 2.5 percent since June 2013 and 9.1 percent since June 2011. On a local level, the Zillow Rent Index has gone up as much as two to three times that amount over the past year in rental hotspots such as metro Chicago (+6.3 percent) and San Francisco (+11 percent).

The full list of best places to own a rental property can be found by visiting Zillow Real Estate Research.

Top 10 Markets for Short-term Financial Gain (difference between rent and mortgage payment on the median home, accounting for property and income taxes, maintenance and vacancy)

Release contains wide tables. View fullscreen.

Rank Metro Area Short-term profit (monthly) Short-term profit (annually)
1. Oklahoma City $536 $6,431
2. Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Fla. $515 $6,184
3. Tulsa, Okla. $396 $4,753
4. Cincinnati $385 $4,621
5. Denver $355 $4,258
6. Rochester, N.Y. $349 $4,182
7. Tampa, Fla. $287 $3,448
8. Dallas-Fort Worth, Tex. $264 $3,166
9. Indianapolis $251 $3,014
10. Memphis, Tenn. $242 $2,901
11-50 Can be found by visiting: http://www.zillow.com/research/landlord-profit-7357/

Top 10 Markets for Long-term Financial Gain (includes home equity gains, tax benefits, and the difference between monthly rental income and mortgage payments after holding onto the property for six years on the median home. Also accounting for property/income taxes, maintenance and vacancy)

Release contains wide tables. View fullscreen.

Rank Metro Area Long-term profit (monthly) Long-term profit (annually)
1. San Jose, Calif. $8,927 $107,122
2. San Francisco $6,078 $72,939
3. Los Angeles $4,328 $51,938
4. San Diego $4,165 $49,983
5. Riverside, Calif. $3,659 $43,907
6. New York $3,179 $38,147
7. Boston $3,009 $36,109
8. Seattle $2,861 $34,335
9. Sacramento, Calif. $2,694 $32,328
10. Honolulu $2,512 $30,144
11-50 Can be found by visiting: http://www.zillow.com/research/landlord-profit-7357/

About Zillow, Inc.

Zillow, Inc. (NASDAQ: Z) operates the largest home-related marketplaces on mobile and the Web, with a complementary portfolio of brands and products that help people find vital information about homes, and connect with the best local professionals. In addition, Zillow operates an industry-leading economics and analytics bureau led by Zillow’s Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. Dr. Humphries and his team of economists and data analysts produce extensive housing data and research covering more than 450 markets at Zillow Real Estate Research. Zillow also sponsors the quarterly Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey, which asks more than 100 leading economists, real estate experts and investment and market strategists to predict the path of the Zillow Home Value Index over the next five years. Zillow also sponsors the bi-annual Zillow Housing Confidence Index (ZHCI) which measures consumer confidence in local housing markets, both currently and over time. The Zillow, Inc. portfolio includes Zillow.com®, Zillow Mobile, Zillow Mortgage Zillow Rentals, Zillow Digs®, Postlets®, Diverse Solutions®, Agentfolio®, Mortech®, HotPads™, StreetEasy® and Retsly™. The company is headquartered in Seattle.

Zillow.com, Zillow, Postlets, Mortech, Diverse Solutions, StreetEasy, Agentfolio and Digs are registered trademarks of Zillow, Inc. HotPads and Retsly are trademarks of Zillow, Inc.

i For short-term financial gain, Zillow identified the top places where landlords make the most money on their rental property based on several assumptions including that the median valued property was purchased five years ago in May 2009, with a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, a 20 percent down payment, and an interest rate of 4.5 percent, roughly the rate that prevailed at the time. For tax purposes we assume that the homeowner is married with a gross annual income equal to the metro-area median and that the property is vacant at a rate equal to the metro-area average vacancy rate. Finally, we assess the net profit excluding equity earned if the homeowner rents out the property for an additional seven years during which home values and rents increase at their historic rates.

ii For long-term financial gain Zillow identified the top places where landlords make the most money on their rental property based on several assumptions including that the median valued property was purchased five years ago in May 2009, with a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, a 20 percent down payment, and an interest rate of 4.5 percent, roughly the rate that prevailed at the time. For tax purposes we assume that the homeowner is married with a gross annual income equal to the metro-area median and that the property is vacant at a rate equal to the metro-area average vacancy rate. Finally, we assess the net profit and accumulated home equity if the homeowner rents out the property for an additional seven years during which home values and rents increase at their historic rates.

SOURCE:

Zillow, Inc. http://www.zillow.com

 

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No Silver Spoon: Most Millionaires Credit Hard Work And Smart Saving As Keys To Financial Success

– Few Gain Wealth Through Inheritance Or Spouse, PNC Survey Finds –

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 21, 2014, Most American millionaires cite smart saving over investment choices as the key ingredient to their financial success and very few have benefited from inheritance or a rich spouse, according to the PNC Wealth and Values Survey.

Saving early and regularly is named most often (56 percent) as the personal decision that most influenced their financial success, according to the survey by PNC Wealth Management, a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC). Controlling spending (38 percent) and making good investment decisions (38 percent) were next, while “earning a lot of money” is fourth on the list, mentioned by 26 percent. Even fewer cite an inheritance (12 percent) or marrying someone with money (3 percent) as significant.

Asked to rank the greatest influences, two-thirds (65 percent) said “hard work” followed by good decisions (16 percent), discipline (8 percent) and luck (7 percent).

“For individuals who aspire to be millionaires, the survey results are positive.  The most likely path to building wealth is not through inheritance, marriage or luck,” said Joseph Jennings, director of investments for PNC Wealth Management.  “Most of the millionaires surveyed have controlled their own destiny by working hard and saving early and regularly.  These are personal choices over which we all have control.  This indicates that the ‘American dream’ is still very much alive.”

Other Findings
The seeds of success were planted early for most American millionaires, but they have yielded an outcome that goes beyond what they expected. Three out of four (76 percent) expected as they were growing up that they would be successful financially but most (81 percent) express pleasant surprise at the scale of their success.

Slightly more than one third (36 percent) have accumulated at least $1 million within the last decade, with the same number (36 percent) having done so within the past 10-20 years.  Fewer than one in three (28 percent) have had at least this much money for more than 20 years.

Most millionaires (53 percent) say that whatever financial acumen they have is largely self-taught, but the vast majority (77 percent) now work with a financial professional to help manage their wealth. For most, the relationship is very much a collaboration; fewer either delegate most decisions to their advisors or rely solely on their own judgment.

American millionaires report that now they are more at peace and enjoying life more, whereas 10 years ago they were much more likely to be pushing to achieve more.

Most have been able to move beyond a concern about saving enough for retirement (a key priority now for just 8 percent) or paying down debt (a priority for just 2 percent). Now they are most concentrated on having enough money to live comfortably in retirement (the top concern for 57 percent).

Preservation of capital continues to be the main focus for this group, cited more than twice as often (51 percent) as accumulation (23 percent) as a major concern.

An online media kit containing survey highlights and background information are available on PNC’s website at http://www.pnc.com/pncpresskits.

The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (www.pnc.com) is one of the nation’s largest diversified financial services organizations providing retail and business banking; residential mortgage banking; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. Follow @PNCNews on Twitter for breaking news, updates and announcements from PNC.

Survey Methodology
The Wealth and Values Survey was commissioned by PNC to identify attitudes about wealth among high-net-worth individuals, how it affects their lives and their needs in managing wealth. Artemis Strategy Group conducted the online survey in September and October 2013, 923 interviews were completed nationally including 473 with assets of $1 million or more, including 169 with $% million or more. Sampling error for 473 respondents is +/- 4.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. DISCLAIMER: This report was prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended as specific advice or recommendations. Any reliance upon this information is solely and exclusively at your own risk.

The survey was designed and managed by HNW, Inc. (www.hnw.com), an integrated marketing and technology firm with a focus on financial services and understanding and connecting with the affluent. The survey was supported by Artemis Strategy Group (www.ArtemisSG.com), a communications strategy research firm specializing in brand positioning and policy issues.

This report has been prepared for general informational purposes only and is not intended as specific advice or recommendations. Information has been gathered from third party sources and has not been independently verified or accepted by The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. PNC makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of the information, assumptions, analyses or conclusions presented in the report. PNC cannot be held responsible for any errors or misrepresentations contained in the report or in the information gathered from third party sources. Any reliance upon the information provided in the report is solely and exclusively at your own risk.

CONTACT:

Alan Aldinger
(412) 768-3711
alan.aldinger@pnc.com

SOURCE:

PNC Wealth Management

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Most Women Working Today Will Not See Equal Pay during their Working Lives

WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2013, 2012 earnings figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau yesterday do not hold much good news for women. Real earnings have failed to grow, and the gender wage gap is at the same level as it was in 2002.  Women’s median annual earnings for 50 or more weeks of full-time work in 2012 were $37,791, compared with $49,398 for men, a gender earnings ratio of 76.5 percent. Real earnings did not increase compared to 2011, and the typical woman earned $11,607 less in 2012 than the typical man.

“Progress in closing the gender wage gap has stalled during the most recent decade. The wage gap is still at the same level as it was in 2002,” said Dr. Heidi Hartmann, President of IWPR. “If the five-decade trend is projected forward, it will take almost another five decades—until 2058—for women to reach pay equity. The majority of today’s working women will be well past the ends of their working lives.”

A new fact sheet released today by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, maps the gender earnings ratio since 1960 and analyzes changes in earnings during the last year by gender, race, and ethnicity. While there is a gender earnings gap between women and men of each major racial/ethnic group, the median earnings of all women are below those of white men. During 2012 the median annual earnings of Hispanic women were only $ 28,424, just 54 percent of the median annual earnings of white men, and at a level that would qualify a woman head of a family of four to receive food stamps.

“While there is no silver bullet for closing the gender wage gap,” said Ariane Hegewisch, a Study Director at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research and author of the fact sheet, “strengthened enforcement of our EEO laws, a higher minimum wage, and work/family benefits would go a significant way towards ensuring that working women are able to support their families without having to rely on welfare.”

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that conducts rigorous research and disseminates its findings to address the needs of women and their families, promote public dialogue, and strengthen communities and societies.

SOURCE:

Institute for Women’s Policy Research
http://www.iwpr.org

 

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America’s Poor Working Hard But Still Falling Behind

New Oxfam America poll reveals harsh realities in the world’s most unequal rich country

WASHINGTON, Aug. 28, 2013, As the nation prepares to mark Labor Day, Oxfam America released the findings of a new poll commissioned to explore the realities of America’s working poor. The survey reveals that America’s low-wage workers have a fierce work ethic and believe that hard work can pay off.  However, they hold jobs that trap them in a cycle of working hard but unable to get ahead and with little hope for economic mobility.

The survey, which was conducted on Oxfam America’s behalf by Hart Research Associates, found that most low-wage workers barely scrape by month-to-month, are plagued by worries about meeting their families’ basic needs, and often turn to loans from family and friends, credit card debt, pawn shops and payday loans, and government programs just to get by. The poll also found that the workers facing the greatest challenges are also the most vulnerable, and that includes parents, women, and those making less than $10 per hour.

“For tens of millions of low-wage American workers, Labor Day is another long day on the job—doing hard work, often at irregular hours, for low pay and few benefits,” said Raymond C. Offenheiser, president of Oxfam America. “As our nation struggles to recover from the Great Recession, there is little recovery for a quarter of American workers who are stuck in low-wage jobs. Our country is now the most unequal rich country in the world, and has the largest percentage of low-wage workers of any advanced economy.”

Oxfam’s survey shows that in addition to inadequate incomes, low-wage workers also face challenges and obstacles that make it difficult to maintain basic job security and to find paths for advancement. Almost a third of those surveyed reported that they have no workplace benefits, such as paid sick leave, health insurance or paid vacation time. And one in six reported having lost a job in the last four years because they got sick or had to take care of a child or family member. A majority of the working poor surveyed believe that it is more common for middle-class people to fall out of the middle class than for low-income people to rise into the middle class.

“Poverty in the US looks very different from poverty in the developing countries where Oxfam often works,” said Offenheiser. “But what is the same – be it in the world’s richest country or its poorest– is the injustice of a society in which a few are mind-bogglingly rich, some are doing well, and too many are working hard but simply can’t make ends meet.”

A majority of low-wage workers reported that they believe that government has a responsibility to ensure that everyone has enough to eat, has access to health care and a roof over their head. But they also believe that government policy is slanted toward benefiting the rich rather than helping the poor get ahead.

“Despite their struggles, our survey finds that low-wage workers don’t want hand-outs; they want a level playing field. They want fair wages, decent working conditions, and dignity,” continued Offenheiser. “A majority of the working poor support a higher minimum wage, help in making child care more affordable, and expanding the earned income tax credit.”

Note: According to the Gini index, the most commonly used measure of inequality, the United States is the wealthiest nation with the largest difference between the poorest and richest.

Oxfam America is a global organization working to right the wrongs of poverty, hunger, and injustice.  We save lives, develop long-term solutions to poverty, and campaign for social change.  As one of 17 members of the international Oxfam confederation, we work with people in more than 90 countries to create lasting solutions. To join our efforts or learn more, go to www.oxfamamerica.org

 

SOURCE:

Oxfam America
http://www.oxfamamerica.org/

 

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2013 Mid-Year Outlook: Economic Growth On the Road to “Normal”

 

Strengthening Housing Market Pushing Economy Forward

WASHINGTON, June 13, 2013 – The U.S. may be well into a prolonged period of steady economic growth, but it hasn’t yet reached its full potential, according to Fannie Mae’s (OTC Bulletin Board: FNMA) Economic & Strategic Research Group. Fiscal headwinds are expected to keep growth to below 2.0 percent for the first half of the year, with gradual strengthening in the second half of 2013 and into 2014. However, as fiscal drags wane, growth should continue to move in the positive direction amid an ongoing recovery in housing, rising household wealth, and expanded energy production.

“At the outset of the year, we forecasted that 2013 would witness sustainable but below-par growth as the economy begins its transition to more normal levels. Halfway through the year, our view is little changed,” said Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan. “We expect approximately 2.1 percent growth over the course of 2013, up from the anemic pace of 1.7 percent in 2012. This is consistent with the incremental improvement seen over the past few years but still below the economy’s potential. Our forecast calls for growth to push past 2.5 percent in 2014, boosted largely by tailwinds from the strengthening housing market.”

Housing was largely positive entering the spring/summer season, with various indicators such as home prices, home sales, and homebuilding activity showing signs of long-term improvement toward normal levels. Despite rising mortgage rates during the past month, which have affected refinance originations, affordability conditions remain high and should not present a significant obstacle to potential homebuyers.

For an audio synopsis of the June 2013 Economic Outlook, listen to the podcast on the Economic & Strategic Research site at www.fanniemae.com. Visit the site to read the full June 2013 Economic Outlook, including the Economic Developments Commentary, Economic Forecast, Housing Forecast, and Multifamily Market Commentary.

Opinions, analyses, estimates, forecasts, and other views of Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) Group included in these materials should not be construed as indicating Fannie Mae’s business prospects or expected results, are based on a number of assumptions, and are subject to change without notice. How this information affects Fannie Mae will depend on many factors. Although the ESR Group bases its opinions, analyses, estimates, forecasts, and other views on information it considers reliable, it does not guarantee that the information provided in these materials is accurate, current, or suitable for any particular purpose. Changes in the assumptions or the information underlying these views could produce materially different results. The analyses, opinions, estimates, forecasts, and other views published by the ESR Group represent the views of that group as of the date indicated and do not necessarily represent the views of Fannie Mae or its management.

Fannie Mae enables people to buy, refinance, or rent a home.

Visit us at: http://www.fanniemae.com/progress

Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/FannieMae

SOURCE:

Fannie Mae

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