Federal and Central Bank Currency May be on the Way

With the advent of FedNow, the U.S. Federal Reserve tossed around the idea of issuing a digital currency Oct. 2, according to a recent article in Reuters. Philadelphia Federal Reserve bank president Patrick Harker said during a community banking conference the implementation of a digital currency "is inevitable," but he does not want the U.S. to be...
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Job Growth, Low Interest Rates Behind Improved Home Sales

The combination of job growth and low interest rates made for a successful month of new home sales in August, increasing nearly 6.5% over the 2018 results. On Sept. 25, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported more than a 7% increase in new single-family homes last month, up from economists' predictions in July.According to NAHB, a...
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Credit Managers' Index Disappoints in September

NACM's Credit Managers' Index (CMI) faltered a bit in September after a robust showing the previous month. "That gain was short-lived as this month there was a bit of a decline. The data is still pretty firmly in the expansion zone, but not as robustly as was the case earlier," said NACM Economist Chris Kuehl, Ph.D. The combined CMI slipped from 55...
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August Housing Starts Soar Thanks to Multifamily Gains

August housing starts saw the largest gain in 12 years, exceeding experts' predictions in July with a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.36 million units. Rising more than 12%, the surge in housing starts was attributed to a signification increase in the multifamily housing sector, where the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said start...
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Australia Late Payments Improve

Late payments are improving across Australia, albeit at a minuscule pace. According to illion's Trade Late Payments Report for the June 2019 quarter released earlier this week, late payments improved from 11 days to 10 days year-over-year, "reflecting improved trading conditions and pressure from the government to cut payment times," states a relea...
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Olaoye Tunde Olawale
Olawale
Friday, 20 September 2019 17:49
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Monthly, Yearly Input Prices See Significant Decline

To the delight of U.S. contractors, construction input prices not only dropped month-over-month (MoM) in August, but also year-over-year (YOY). According to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), MoM input prices were down more than half of a percent, while YOY input prices fell nearly 1%.MoM and YOY input prices for nonresidential construction...
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Moody's and Fitch Downgrade Hong Kong's Ratings

The protests in Hong Kong continue, and the political unrest in the region has begun to have an impact on the health of its economy. According to a recent article by Reuters, Moody's knocked down Hong Kong's rating from stable to negative. Moody's made this decision as it deemed the risk from the protests has caused "an erosion in the strength of H...
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Challenges Lead to US Auto 'Fair' Outlook

Credit risk assessment in the U.S. automotive sector is stable. According to the latest Market Monitor from credit insurer Atradius, the sector is also facing high risks in financial conditions. The sector has a "fair" outlook due in part to tariffs and lower demand taking their toll on the credit risk outlook, which has worsened. The average payme...
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Amazon and Wayfair May Raise Prices to Offset Chinese Tariffs

The repercussions of the Chinese tariffs on U.S. goods may begin to manifest at Amazon and Wayfair: these companies may no longer be able to absorb the tariff costs, according to research by Bank of America given to Supply Chain Dive. With the 15% tariff that went into place Sept. 8, Amazon may raise its prices by as much as 2.6% and Wayfair by as ...
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Nonresidential Construction Employment ‘Just About Perfect’

Construction job growth expectations weren't achieved in August, but according to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Chief Economist Anirban Basu, overall employment was "just about perfect." After the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data release, ABC released its analysis on Sept. 6, citing a 2.4% increase in construction employment year-ov...
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New Zealand Late Payments Increase

Late payments are an issue around the globe in small, medium and large businesses. According to Australasia data and analytics provider illion, late payments in New Zealand are increasing, yet that was expected due to seasonality. The most recent late payments report for the island nation shows nearly a quarter of businesses were paying invoices la...
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Construction Employment Remains Healthy

Construction unemployment isn't exactly where the industry wants it to be, but it has been worse. On Aug. 28, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) reported unemployment rose in 38 states in July 2019 compared to July 2018, based on estimates that were not seasonally adjusted. However, despite the 0.4% increase in unemployment over the past yea...
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Construction Confidence Dips in June, Optimism Moving Forward

Construction contractors lost confidence during the month of June, according to the June 2019 Construction Confidence Index released by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). This lack of confidence stems primarily from nonresidential construction.Despite the dip in sales, profits and staffing levels in June, the levels in the survey still rema...
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August CMI Turnaround Shows Positivity

NACM's Credit Managers' index is back on track after a hiccup in July. The combined CMI returned to levels seen earlier this year with a 1.8-point climb to 55.2 in August. Much of the improvement was seen in the favorable factors, which increased more than three points to 61.8."It looks more and more like July was an outlier in terms of the CMI dat...
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Ports Close Ahead of Tropical Storm Dorian

Hurricane season continues, with ports and businesses taking note of the weather patterns affecting projects and shipment deliveries. Tropical Storm Dorian remains a threat for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, with all maritime ports in the area set for Port Condition Zulu as of Aug. 28, according to a recent article in Supply Chain Dive. G...
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Justice Department Indicts 80 in BEC Scam Case

As frequently as fraud is reported, many incidents end with companies suffering heavy financial losses. Sometimes, a lack of security or employee training is to blame, but there are also times when it's truly hard to detect a fraudulent transaction. Recently, the United States experienced a win on the fraud front after 80 defendants were indicted f...
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New Home Sales See Sharp Decline

New U.S. single-family home sales are on the decline as is the median home price. The latest release from the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development shows sales of new single-family homes slipped nearly 13% in July from June's revised rate. However, sales are up more than 4% from July 2018. The median sales price dipped j...
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Trump Continues to Pressure the Fed Amid US, China Trade Wars

The pressure continues for the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates, according to Reuters. President Trump on Aug. 21 said on Twitter he remains frustrated with Chair of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell, stating the U.S. should not "count on him!"Trump also said the policies were infringing on U.S. growth and the trade deals with China.These co...
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The Fight Against Fraud Continues in US, UK

Just as businesses beef up security, fraud evolves and strikes companies when they least expect it, sending security teams back to the drawing board. The latest attacks are affecting businesses in the U.S. and U.K.On Aug. 11, Financial Times reported a rise in cyber insurance policy claims in both countries. In the U.S., companies are learning abou...
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Housing Starts Fall During July

U.S. housing starts fell during the month of July, making this the third consecutive month of falling starts, according to a recent article by Reuters. The biggest decline was seen in multi-family units. Despite these shortcomings, permits reached a seven-month high, offering some hope in the housing market.In total, housing starts dropped 4%, adju...
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