Journal Entry #3: The Beauty of Virtual Learning

I am going on my fourth week of the International Credit & Risk Management (ICRM) online course and I am slightly behind. Not only was I struggling with some aspects of the discussion posts but I also had a six-day family vacation in Puerto Rico. Luckily the instructor was very understanding and let me enjoy my trip while helping me with my que...
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Journal Entry #1: Navigating International Trade Credit

I've just completed my second week of FCIB's International Credit & Risk Management (ICRM) online course and it's been nothing short of a very pleasant experience. Although I've only brushed the surface of international trade credit, I've already learned so much.In the two modules I've completed so far, I've learned about the basics of how inte...
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Economic Growth Remains Strong but Subject to Change

​Economic data shows that U.S. economic growth remained steady in the last quarter of 2022. In December, payrolls rose by $223,000 while the unemployment rate fell to 3.5% and average hourly earnings eased by 0.3%, per Wells Fargo. Job openings fell to 10.46 million in November. Not only that, "ISM manufacturing fell to 48.4 in December, while the ...
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Labor Market Remains Tight, But Not for Long

Despite the Fed's aggressive interest rate hikes and stubborn inflation, the labor market remains tight. The unemployment rate is sitting at a historical low of 3.7% and average hourly earnings rose 5% year-over-year, "well above a pace that would be consistent with the Federal Reserve's 2% inflation goal," reads an article from Bloomberg.However, ...
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NACM's CMI Forecasts Trouble Ahead in 2023

🎙At the start of 2022, economic activity was bursting at the seams as businesses recovered from the depths of the pandemic. But roughly one year later, NACM's Credit Managers' Index is painting a very different picture of the U.S. economy … and credit professionals sense trouble ahead.Hear from Amy Crews Cutts in today's episode of Extra Credit #po...
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Construction Outlook Remains Positive for 2023 Despite Challenges

Like all other industries, construction has grappled with the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation and supply chain issues. "As many industries brace for an economic downturn heading into the new year, the construction industry is tasked with managing increased lead times and increasing costs from material prices to labor, while also...
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Political Risk Increases in Egypt Despite IMF Financial Support

The new International Monetary Fund (IMF) executive board approved a 46-month, $3 billion financial support package for Egypt, saying it "will catalyze additional funding of about $14 billion," per Reuters. This financial arrangement, Extended Fund Facility (EFF), aims to reduce government debt to less than 80% of gross domestic product (GDP) in th...
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Global Trade is in for a Rough 2023 After Record Highs in 2022

Despite high inflation and global supply chain issues, trade rose significantly in 2022. According to a report released Tuesday by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the value of global trade is expected rise 12% to almost $32 trillion this year. The significant rise in trade was due to strong growth in the first ...
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China Loosens Anti-COVID Regulations After Protests

China eased COVID-19 regulations and virus test requirements for some public places on Wednesday, according to AP News. China's strong zero-COVID stance, which disrupted manufacturing and global trade, sparked protests last week."People with mild cases will be allowed for the first time to isolate at home, the National Health Commission announced, ...
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Biden Calls on Congress to Prevent Rail Strike

President Joe Biden called on Congress to quickly intervene and prevent a rail strike in an effort to shield the U.S. economy. The House moved toward approving legislation on Wednesday to keep the rails running by imposing a labor agreement between workers and railroads.The bill would force rail companies and workers to abide by the tentative agree...
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Black Friday Sales Will Reveal State of US Economy

A big question about this year's Black Friday remains: will sales surpass last year as consumers search for deals or will sales plummet amid red hot inflation? "Industry groups are predicting another record year of retail sales, with the National Retail Federation forecasting a jump of 6% to 8% over the $890 billion consumers spent online and in st...
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Third Rail Union Rejects Deal, Strike Threat Returns

A third U.S. rail union voted against a national contract made in September, and continues negotiating to reach a deal, according to Reuters. Labor unions are bargaining to improve sick leave and attendance policies. Two of the largest unions have yet to announce their votes.Rail workers and railroads have until Dec. 9 to come to an agreement or th...
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Fed Forced to Balance Hot Labor Market and Recession Risk

Interest rate hikes are expected to continue as both inflation and the labor market remain uncomfortably hot. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there was an addition of 261,000 jobs in October.But with taming inflation and cooling the job market comes a serious risk of recession. "The Federal Reserve faces the difficult task of cool...
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Fed Raises Interest Rates 75 Basis Points, Pace Could Slow

The Federal Reserve announced another interest rate hike of 75 basis points, raising the total rate to a range of 3.75% to 4%, the highest level in 15 years. "My colleagues and I are strongly committed to bringing inflation back down to our 2% goal," said Chair Jerome Powell during a news conference. "Restoring price stability will likely require m...
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US at Risk of Debt Ceiling Standoff

The U.S. is in danger of reaching its $31.4 trillion debt limit sometime in 2023 if Republicans and Democrats can't agree to raise the limit. It was last raised in 2021.House Republicans are expected to use the vote to try and get the Biden administration to curb spending in exchange for support of a debt ceiling increase, per The Hill. "While the ...
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Biden to Release at Least 15 Million Barrels of Oil From Reserve

President Joe Biden is expected to announce the release of 15 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve in response to recent production cuts by OPEC+ nations, per AP News. This announcement comes ahead of next month's midterm elections.Biden authorized the release of 180 million barrels in March, sending the reserve to its l...
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Wholesale Inflation Grew 0.4% in September, more than Expected

Wholesale inflation rose in September following two consecutive months of decline. "Two months of plunging gas prices in July and August helped turn producer price inflation negative after the steep rise in energy prices over April and May pushed it toward record levels," reports The Hill.On Wednesday, the Labor Department announced that its produc...
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WTO: Trade Growth to Slow Significantly in 2023

World trade volume is expected to grow 3.5% in 2022 before slowing to 1.0% in 2023, revised down from 3.4%, according to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Global trade is expected to lose momentum due to the war in Ukraine, high energy prices, inflation and monetary tightening."In August, energy prices were up 78% year on year, led by natural gas...
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Feds Raise Interest Rates by 0.75%, More Rate Hikes Expected

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the third consecutive time on Wednesday by another 0.75 percentage points, and it is unlikely to be the last rate hike in the Fed's ongoing battle against inflation."Fed officials signaled the intention of continuing to hike until the funds level hits a 'terminal rate,' or end point, of 4.6% in 2023. Th...
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Wholesale Inflation Dips in August

Inflation at the wholesale level rose 8.7% year over year in August, according to the producer price index. Prices fell 0.1% from July to August, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Wednesday."Just one day after August's disappointing Consumer Price Index report triggered a meltdown on Wall Street, a separate inflation re...
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