Author: Tobias Burns

IRS backlog of tax returns just as bad as last year

The backlog of tax returns that has delayed millions of personal refunds and drowned the IRS in obsolete paper tax filings is just as bad this year as it was last year. “For some, this filing season may have felt like Groundhog Day,” National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins wrote in a blog post on Thursday,…

Retail credit card interest rate hits record high

The average credit card interest rate for retail stores has hit a record high of 26.72 percent while general purpose credit cards now charge an average of 22.6 percent, according to a study released Monday by industry group Creditcards.com. The rise in annualized percentage rates (APRs) comes as the Federal Reserve is raising the rates…

Wholesale used car prices plummet as retail prices soar

The wholesale price of used cars is falling off a cliff while the prices that car shoppers are paying is way up, suggesting dealers are making a killing while consumers are taking a bath. Wholesale used car prices declined 2 percent from September in the first half of October and are down 10.3 percent from…

Fed Data suggests there was no recession in September

The probability that the U.S. was in a recession in September is close to zero percent, the St. Louis Fed reported this week, despite widely reported fears of a recession in that month and public opinion polling showing that many Americans thought a recession had already begun. Data from the St. Louis Federal Reserve updated…

Rising profits are driving inflation, UBS economist says

Ahead of another expected interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve, a top economist at Swiss Bank UBS is warning that high inflation is more the result of rising profits than wages and that Fed chair Jerome Powell needs to explain exactly how he thinks higher rates are going to bring down rising prices for…

US manufacturing plummets to lowest level since 2020

U.S. manufacturing activity fell for the fourth month in a row while prices paid to manufacturers also decreased to the lowest level in more than two years. The Institute for Supply Management’s October purchasing managers’ index came in at 50.2 percent, 0.7 percentage points lower than September and the lowest level since May 2020. The…

Wheat prices shoot up after Russia suspends UN grain deal

Wheat prices shot up on global commodity markets after Russia pulled out of a deal to keep grain exports moving out of Ukrainian ports, exacerbating concerns that the move by Moscow could worsen global food shortages. “Each fraction of a percentage point pushes someone somewhere over the line to extreme poverty,” United Nations aid chief…

Rettig out as IRS commissioner

The Treasury Department on Friday announced the departure of IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, whose term is set to end in mid-November. Before Congress approves a new permanent IRS chief, the agency will be headed by deputy commissioner Douglas O’Donnell as acting chief, the Treasury said. “I want to thank Commissioner Rettig for his tireless service…

Wage growth ticks down, causing markets to soar

New data showing a slowdown in wage growth on Friday is leading to a big day on the stock market. Compensation rose 1.2 percent in the third quarter, a tick down from the 1.3 percent growth in the previous quarter, according to the data released Friday by the Labor Department. Wage growth at an annualized…