US Economic Growth Rises 2.5%

The US economy grew at an annualized level of 2.5% in the second quarter, the Commerce Department said in revised data.

Two key sectors of the economy

us economyThe economic growth was more than double the pace reported in the previous three months, and higher estimates of 2.2%.

The increase, helped by a boost in exports, is a further sign that the economy may be getting back on track. The government had originally estimated that GDP would increase at a 1.7% rate in the second quarter. The revised non-annualized quarter on quarter rate was 0.6%, higher from the first estimate of 0.4%.

The two major sectors of the economy, housing and business investments, remained strong on the new figures. Housing construction increased at an annual rate of 12.9%, the fourth consecutive period of double-digit growth, while business investment reported 16.1% growth rate.

Stimulus measure

The government said the data from retailers showed they had restocked their stores at a faster speed in the April-to-June period than first thought. The positive news could make the central bank economists more likely to start reducing monthly bond purchases. This could be one of the US’s last stimulus strategies.

Economists believe the development of the economy would stay at the 2.5% rate, boosted by steady job gains and less spending cuts.

Traders Await Next Fed Step, Asian Stocks Plateau

TradersAsian stock markets registered very little change on Monday in the wake of the fact that traders are waiting to know what step the Federal Reserve would take next. There has been wide speculation that the Fed would cut back on its stimulus as early as in September, which has made the traders more cautious.

What the Fed says

According to the Federal Reserve, its aggressive government bond buying policy had helped stimulate a lazy economy and pushed down interest rates thereby pushing consumers towards making investments and buying homes. However, it added that the program was not to run indefinitely and mentioned that it would phase it out when the economy stabilizes itself.

Based on the recent economy performance and public statements by Fed policymakers, many investors thought that the Fed would start winding up its policy in September. However, analysts say that the cutting back could stifle growth, make transition rough and put the stock markets on shaky grounds.

South Korea Growth Exceeds Estimates

South Korea’s economic growth exceeds estimates in the April to June period, boosted by an increase in domestic consumption and government spending.

South Korea in stimulus move

South-Korea-GDPReported growth was 1.1% higher in the period than in previous three months, the Bank of Korea’s advanced estimates showed.

Compared with the same quarter a year ago, the economy improved by 2.3%, up by 2% estimates by most analysts. South Korea has revealed a series of stimulus procedures over the past few months in an attempt to drive economic growth.

Analysts said the recent data indicated the steps were starting to have an effect on the economy.

 Economic recovery hopes

“The consumption growth reflects the effects from the government’s stimulus measures,” said Kim Yoon-gee, a senior economist at Daishin Economic Research Institute.

He pointed out that government spending was likely to increase further as the execution of the fiscal spending is concentrated in the second half of the year.

These figures, including a 17.3 trillion won stimulus procedure unveiled in April, were introduced in an attempt to improve domestic consumption to offset the slowing demands for the country’s exports.

The government said its latest stimulus plan would help produce 40,000 jobs, improve a stagnant property market, and cover a shortfall in tax revenue and that it expected to help boost annual economic growth by 0.3 percent this year.

Zynga’s New CEO To Receive Pay Package Worth $50 Million

Don Mattrick, head of Microsoft Corp’s Xbox business who will replace Zynga Inc owner Mark Pincusas chief executive, will get a huge, mostly stock-based compensation pay package of around $50 million in the coming years.

Compensation package

zyngas new ceoThe company said, in Mattrick’s initial year, he will get a base income of $1 million, which is a sign-on cash bonus of $5 million and a 2013 bonus of $2 million, or the average bonus of Zynga’s other executives.

To compensate for shares he lost for leaving Microsoft, Mattrick will get a grant of $25 million or around 9 million stock units that will vest over the next three years.

Total pay for his first year

These shares are presently valued for over $30.5 million.

Zynga income experienced growth for 11 percent since the company revealed that Mattrick was coming on board as chief executive.

At the end of his first term, he will probably get 45.32 percent of his 9 million restricted stock units, valued by the company at around $11.3 million based on the June price. To sum up, this will take a total of $19.3 million in his first year.

Honda Lowers Lease Cost For Fit EV

2013_Honda_Fit_EV_041-626x417Starting June 1, Honda will be offering a lower cost for the lease-only Fit EV. From $389 per month, the price is set to go down to $259 per month. The new pricing is applicable to both new customers and current leases.  

More incentives for customers

Apart from lowered lease cost, Honda is offering additional incentives. No down payment or acquisition fee will be required for new three-year leases. New benefits also include collision coverage, maintenance, and a 240-volt EV home charging station, minus the installation cost. Honda is also providing new and current customers with unlimited mileage (although with EVs, mileage can actually be limited).

Effects on the competition

Honda’s move is likely to make the competition stop and look into possible additional incentives that they can offer. The Fiat 500E, for example, is $199 per month with $999 down payment and a lease limited to 12,000 miles/year. However, collision insurance and a fast charger are not included. To make up for that, Fiat decided to offer a unique car rental program that lets 500E owners to exchange their vehicles for gas-powered cars. This deal is great for long trips that aren’t suitable for 500E.

Is Consistency What You’re Looking for? Go for Gold!

“When forced to choose, I will not trade even a night’s sleep for the chance of extra profits.” – Warren Buffett

When talking about investments, many claim the first thing that comes to mind is a house. Well, it really is, with the return on investment when you offer it for rental. Choosing a house as an investment, however, has a downside. It will require you to dedicate some time, money, and effort on maintenance. You also need to have a good relationship with your tenants. With all these demands, why not choose investing in gold instead?

Investing on Gold

What makes gold a better investment option than a house or stocks is its consistency. Stock investors will attest to the stress of seeing stock prices rise and fall significantly. Where’s peace in this? At least with gold, you are assured that the savings you’ve invested are safe from market fluctuations.

Devaluing Currency

Another good reason why investing on gold is wise is you can trade this finite resource openly in the commodities market. There is so much gold on earth available for trading unlike other resources, according to Atkinsons The Jewellers. Notice how gold is unaffected by the depreciation of the dollar and even benefits from increased governmental debt.

Universally Recognized & Valued

Gold is indeed a good investment option since it is universally recognized, secured, and valued. Unlike the dollars that changes in value relative to other currencies, gold is worth the same virtually everywhere. The preciousness of gold is also secured, as it’s still one among the most sought-after metals – retaining its value even during a catastrophe.

Don’t let yourself feel like you’re working in vain, invest in gold today! This will make you feel rewarded and inspire you more. All it takes is finding a reliable seller of gold bullion, bars and coins that offer them at the most competitive prices. Visit sites like www.atkinsonsthejewellers.com for more info.

Keep Moving Forward, Settle Back Taxes

Facing outstanding back taxes with the IRS isn’t a situation you want to be in, as the agency can garnish wages, seize bank accounts, and even put liens on property. There are many reasons to avoid these circumstances, but that isn’t always possible. Sometimes, you just don’t have enough funds to pay taxes. Tax debt help company, 20/20 Tax Debt Help, shares how you can resolve your tax levy situation.

The Worst Case Scenario: Seizing Your Assets

Tax collectors, whether it’s the IRS or your state’s revenue department, have the power to seize your assets if they find out you’re unable to settle outstanding taxes. They will perform necessary actions just to get what you owe, and this includes tax levies. They may seize your property as payment for your tax debt if you don’t seek help for tax levy early on. Although the IRS or the state revenue department sends a demand letter for payment, levies may come at the most inopportune times. Things you rely on for survival, such as your house and car, can be taken away from you.

The Solution: Getting Professional Help

You can determine what type of tax relief help you’re likely to qualify for by working with lawyers and tax experts. You can negotiate a payment plan that won’t cause undue hardship to your life and family. If you’re up against a situation where a tax levy is pending, now is the time to get help. The IRS or state revenue department will most likely issue a tax lien or notify you of intent to levy property, bank accounts, or wages. When this happens, getting professional help early is important. Tax experts will realistically assess your current tax scenario and negotiate the case to a formal and manageable tax resolution.

Know that tax levies aren’t forever and will either end or be resolved at some point. Act now if you’re in this kind of situation as tax levies are easier to deal with earlier on in the process. Visit this website to start developing a strategy that will free you from the threats of tax levy.

Toyota Motor’s Gasoline-Electric Hybrid Vehicle Surpasses Five Million In Sales

Toyota Motor’s global sales of gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle, specifically the Toyota Prius, have surpassed 5 million. The Japanese automaker had sold a milestone 5.125-million hybrid automobiles as of the end of March. These hybrid vehicles now account for 14 percent of its global sales and 40 percent of its sales in Japan.

Prius

Takeshi Uchiyamada, vice chairperson of Toyota Motors, recalled that expectations had been low for the hybrid vehicle to catch on. He had to beg to raise the production plan from 300 cars a month to 1000, but people in Japan were lining up to place their orders when the Prius was announced. There wasn’t even a sample model to check out in their showrooms yet.

Hybrid vehicles have now becoming a trend, and Toyota Motors are just starting to make a change in the auto industry.

Read more about this news by checking out Yahoo! News.

Is Now The Right Time To Invest In Housing?

invest housingAccording to the newest Case-Shiller reports, home sales have increased, with the existing market values increasing more than 7% since a year ago. This bodes well if you are looking to sell your home or invest in real estate. Financial analysts, however, advise caution due to the uncertain nature of the current home market price trends.

Robert Shiller, co-author of the S&P/Case-Shiller Index, says that the ‘housing market is becoming more of a speculative asset.’ Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles are three examples of cities which have badly performed in the housing sector. Their housing markets may have enjoyed a seemingly continuous growth spurt, but these cities have become three of the worst performing markets since the last bubble burst.

It is still risky to buy a new house or a bulk of residential properties, Shiller continues. The housing market prices are still behaving in an abnormal way, because the government accepts liability under insurance. Shiller advises investors to rent instead, and build up their portfolio with other investments instead.

Investing in today’s housing market can make you witness a turnaround when the prices decrease again. This is why it would be better if you invest your money in more stable commitments. This will help you earn more money rather than see your home’s value decline over time.