Category Archives: Economy

Can US Housing Industry’s Comeback Endure? The Outlook Dims

The U.S. housing market has sizzled this summer, lifting expectations that home sales will finally help drive an economic expansion now in its seventh year.

Or will it?

Signs are emerging that housing’s momentum may be destined to falter in coming months. Analysts note that some of the key foundations needed to sustain a brisk pace of home-buying in the long run appear to be missing. Read More

Economic Update: Common Core State Standards

One way to improve our students’ knowledge and capabilities is to implement the Common Core State Standards which encourage more effectual learning and help teachers develop students’ abilities to analyze and apply skills to real world problems. Read More

Economic Update: Cuba and U.S. Relations

Randy Shumway, CEO of Cicero Group and Economic Advisor for Zions Bank, discusses the benefits in opening U.S. / Cuba relations. Improved human rights in Cuba and creation of jobs for both countries are just the beginning. Read More

Economic Update: The Phenomenon of Low Inflation and Low Unemployment

Randy Shumway, CEO of Cicero Group and Economic Advisor for Zions Bank, discusses the Federal Reserve’s role in stabilizing unemployment, inflation and wages. Read More

US Economy Rebounding with Solid If Unspectacular Job Gains

Rebounding from a dismal start to the year, the U.S. economy added 223,000 jobs in April, a solid gain that suggested that employers are helping fuel a durable if still subpar recovery.

The job growth helped lower the unemployment rate to 5.4 percent from 5.5 percent in March, the Labor Department said Friday. That is the lowest rate since May 2008, six months into the Great Recession. Read More

UAMPS: Reducing Emissions with New Technologies

UAMPS invests in power projects that not only help its customers save money, but also help the environment. The evolution of power systems is leaning toward efficient emission-free developments like the Veyo heat recovery project. Read More

Why Your Rent Will Rise Again This Year

Living in an apartment? Expect your rent to go up again.

Renting has gotten increasingly expensive over the last five years. The average U.S. rent has climbed 14 percent to $1,124 since 2010, according to commercial property tracker Reis Inc. That’s four percentage points faster than inflation, and more than double the rise in U.S. home prices over the same period.

Now, even with a surge in apartment construction, rents are projected to rise yet another 3.3 percent this year, to an average $1,161, according to Reis. While that’s slower than last year’s 3.6 percent increase, the broader upward trend isn’t going away. Read More

New Scoring System Aims to Help People with Poor Credit

credit score.GotCredit
People struggling with a bad credit score, or lack of one, could benefit from a program rolling out in the next few months aimed at making it easier to get a Visa or MasterCard.

The company behind the widely-used FICO credit score announced Thursday a pilot program to help millions of Americans get easier access to credit, based on their record of paying utility bills, instead of their history of loan repayments. Read More

Medical Expenses: Finding Your Way with a Patient Navigator

A medical emergency leaves you with tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid hospital bills. Your health insurance company rejects coverage for an important medical test. An unexpected diagnosis requires you to find three new medical specialists.

In today’s health care system, consumers are increasingly on their own when these complex — and often costly — medical problems arise. Primary care doctors once helped patients manage such situations, but many physicians now have 15 minutes or less for each appointment. It’s in this high-pressure environment that a new industry of patient advocates — sometimes called patient navigators — has emerged, offering to help guide patients through knotty health situations. Read More

Economic Update: Air Quality in Utah

Randy Shumway, CEO of Cicero Group and Economic Advisor for Zions Bank, discusses one way to reduce air pollution in Utah. Read More

Why the Outlook for Global Economy Has Brightened

From the United States to Asia to Europe, a global economy that many had feared was faltering appears poised for a resurgence on the strength of cheap oil and falling interest rates.

That’s the strikingly upbeat view of economists surveyed by The Associated Press, who no longer see Europe’s financial crisis, the U.S. housing market or congressional gridlock as the threats they appeared to be last year. Read More

Republicans Critical of Obama’s ‘Amnesty Bonuses’

Millions of immigrants benefiting from President Barack Obama’s executive actions could get a windfall from the IRS, a reversal of fortune after years of paying taxes to help fund government programs they were banned from receiving.

Armed with new Social Security numbers, many of these immigrants who were living in the U.S. illegally will now be able to claim up to four years’ worth of tax credits designed to benefit the working poor.
For big families, that’s a maximum of nearly $24,000, as long as they can document their earnings during those years. Read More

Community Fuels – A Clean Air Story

Community Fuels needed funds to finance its growing business. Zions Bank Public Finance helped this company obtain tax exempt financing to produce more of their biodiesel product.

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Highlights of Obama Plan to Tax Wealthy

The White House says President Barack Obama will propose in his State of the Union address a plan to impose higher taxes on the wealthy and use the revenue to help middle-class families. Congress would have to agree, and lawmakers have rebuffed Obama’s earlier proposals to eliminate certain tax provisions and spend the money on road and bridge repair, for example.
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5 Things to Know about Obama’s Next Climate Move: Methane

The Obama administration on January 14 announced its latest move to combat global warming, this time trying to rein in heat-trapping methane gas that escapes from oil and gas fields.

The plan relies on voluntary steps and new rules to reduce leaks from oil and gas production by 40 percent to 45 percent over the next decade. In a way, the proposal is an effort to plug what many viewed as a hole in the overall global warming strategy. Read More