07/02/2022

News

Consumer Spending Declined in December by Most in Five Years

Household purchases declined 0.3 percent, the biggest decline since September 2009, after a 0.5 percent November gain, Commerce Department figures showed Monday in Washington. The median forecast of 68 economists in a Bloomberg survey called for a 0.2 percent drop. Incomes and the saving rate rose.

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Jerry Brown’s California Overtakes Russia, Italy and Brazil in Economic Might

California is overtaking Brazil as the world’s seventh-largest economy, bolstered by rising employment, home values and personal and corporate income, a year after the most-populous state surpassed Russia and Italy.

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LA Faces $15 Billion Bill as Pipes Spring Leaks

Many cities and states are in the same rusty boat, having put off investing in bridges, wastewater systems, dams and other public works that need regular maintenance and upgrades. The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates the country would have to spend $3.6 trillion to get the nation’s infrastructure in decent working order by 2020.

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Brown’s California Rebound Belied by Placentia Plight

While California’s economy is surging to a record, the plight of Placentia shows how a financial misstep can imperil municipalities facing rising costs for retirees and infrastructure. The community of 52,000 exhausted most of its reserves on a failed railroad project. Southern California’s Adelanto and Upland are also fighting to avert insolvency.

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Calpers Doubles Bonus Payouts to Employees as Losses Recouped

Calpers, as the fund is known, said it paid 130 employees and executives $7.7 million in bonuses last year, more than twice the $3.6 million in the previous year. Chief Investment Officer Joe Dear got $321,750 in addition to his half-million dollar base pay. Three investment officers were paid more than $200,000 each, according to data provided by the fund.

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Jobless Claims in US Drop as California Clears Backlog

Jobless claims decreased by 10,000 to 340,000 in the week ended Oct. 26 from 350,000 the prior period, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. The median forecast of 49 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a decrease to 338,000. California said no claims last week represented applications from prior weeks, a Labor Department spokesman said as the figures were released to the press.

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California Costliest Since ’08 Seen Spooking Buyers: Muni Credit

The biggest rally in five years in California debt has some investors balking on concern that the state’s finances are increasingly vulnerable to swings in the economy and tax revenue.

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Drop in US Jobless Claims Increases Confidence

“Americans unexpectedly filed fewer claims for unemployment benefits last week, highlighting labor-market gains that are shoring up consumer confidence.

Jobless claims dropped by 5,000 to 305,000 in the week ended Sept. 21, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. The monthly average was the lowest since 2007. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose for the third straight week, another report showed. “

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California Toll Road Risks Biggest Default Since Detroit

The Foothill-Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency, which operates 39 miles (63 kilometers) of toll highways in Orange County, risks default on $2.4 billion in debt, a consultant to California Treasurer Bill Lockyer’s Debt and Investment Advisory Commission said in July. The county itself filed for protection in 1994, the biggest U.S. municipal bankruptcy at the time, after losing about $1.7 billion on derivatives.

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California ‘Freebies’ Drive Carbon to 2013 Low: Energy Markets

Carbon prices in California have slumped to the lowest level this year as the state weighs increasing the number of free permits offered to polluters in an effort to kick-start the fledgling market.

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