Demand Drives Natural Gas Prices Higher – Energy Update

Natural gas prices soared to levels not seen since 2008 as increased demand and limited supply have pushed prices to nearly triple from where they were in May 2020. Expanding global demand due to an economic rebound from the pandemic has created an energy gap for countries and consumers worldwide. Becoming a more popular and widely used commodity for energy …

Rates Head Higher – Fixed Income Overview

Rates moved slightly higher in September as markets look to the Fed for indications of a taper. Yields on government, corporate and municipal bonds rose, sending bond prices lower. The Federal Reserve announced that it will probably start tapering its bond-buying strategy as soon as this November, as well as an inclination to start raising rates in 2022. Bond buying …

Americans Tapping Savings – Consumer Behavior

As store and restaurant closures prompted consumers nationwide to stay home last year during the height of the pandemic, consumers spent less and saved more. In addition, massive stimulus efforts by the government placed funds in millions of consumer savings accounts last year, helping to shore up the savings rate as well. The most recent savings rate data made available …

Median Household Income Drops – Demographics

The median household income fell in 2020 for the first time since 2014, according to the most recent Census Bureau data released in September. Widespread stimulus payments, as well as enhanced unemployment benefits, were not enough to match prior year incomes in 2019. As of the end of 2020, the median household income was $67,521, a drop of 3% from …

Welcoming Emily W. Newman, Esq. to the wealthMD Board

With great pleasure, I would like to announce that Emily W. Newman, Esq. has joined the wealthMD Board. Emily brings vast knowledge to our board as she has defended, tried, and arbitrated cases throughout Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan for professionals in various trades and professions for the last 20 years. Emily was recognized by US News and World Report/Best Lawyers …

Macro Economic Overview – Sept 2021

As the Delta variant has spread, many companies, schools, and government agencies have begun imposing vaccine requirements for employees and students. The World Health Organization has identified 20 Covid variants throughout the world, four of which are categorized as Variants of Concern (VOC). Supply chain disruptions brought about by the pandemic have fostered inflationary pressures not seen since the late …

Millions Spend Nearly Half Of Income On Rent – Housing Update

As home prices have soared over the past year and housing inventories have fallen, more and more families are being forced to rent rather than own. As the demand for rentals has been increasing, the level of homeownership has been falling. Some attribute this dynamic to a low inventory of homes on the market, while others blame speculation contributing to …

Why Bacon Is Getting More Expensive – Food Inflation

Various factors have contributed to bacon’s higher costs over the past year, including rising feed costs, processing costs, increased demand, and newly passed animal confinement rules. As the pandemic shuttered businesses over the past year and kept workers home, processing plants that produce meat products, such as bacon, weren’t able to fulfill demand. Grains and other feed products increased in …

Consumers Drive Economic Growth, Not Government – Consumer Expenditures

Each month the Department of Commerce releases its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) report. This report is the single most recognized indicator of how the economy is performing. GDP is made up of private consumption, gross investment, government spending, and net exports. The single largest contributor of these components is consumer consumption, making nearly 70% of GDP. Historical data provided by …

SNAP Benefits Up Over 35% in Past Year – Government Subsidy Benefits Overview

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, will increase benefit payments by 25% starting in October. The increase is the largest ever for the 42 million recipients nationwide. The average monthly increase will amount to roughly $36 in food benefit payments per person. Data provided by the USDA showed …