Analysts are warning that if Congress doesn’t act soon, the U.S. could default on its debts as soon as mid-December. The news came after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen announced Dec. 15 as the latest default deadline. In other news, with inflation moving higher, a new survey found that Thanksgiving dinners will cost Americans 14% more this year.
Yahoo News/Ben Werschkul
US government could default ‘as soon as mid-December’ without action: Analysts
On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen set Dec. 15 as the latest deadline for when the U.S. could default on government debt.
Today, an independent group of analysts at the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) have confirmed the deadline, projecting a debt limit “X Date” of when the U.S. will no longer be able to pay its bills as a possibility beginning in mid-December without any action from Congress.
The relative clarity on this mid-December deadline comes as Yellen confirmed that a $118 billion transfer to the Highway Trust Fund – part of the just-signed Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal – will, indeed, be completed by Dec. 15.
The news underscores a pile-up of end-of-the-year priorities facing Congress. In addition to the debt limit issue, lawmakers hope to pass the ambitious Build Back Better Act, Congress’s annual defense policy bill, as well as a bill focused on China called the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act. And there’s also the issue of averting a government shutdown by Dec. 3.
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Kitco News/Anna Golubova
Gold rises from daily lows as U.S. weekly jobless claims come in at 268,000
The initial weekly jobless claims declined by 1,000 to 268,000 in the week to Saturday, slightly disappointing market expectations but still marking a new pandemic low.
Economists’ consensus calls projected for initial claims to come in at 260,000 following the revised level of 269,000 reported in the previous week.
Gold rose from daily lows following the data release, with December Comex gold futures last trading at $1,867.30, down 0.16% on the day. Earlier in the session, gold hit a low of $1,856.60 an ounce.
The four-week moving average for new claims – often viewed as a more reliable measure of the labor market since it flattens week-to-week volatility – decreased to 272,750. This also marked the lowest level since March 14, 2020. The previous week’s four-week moving average was revised up to 278,500, the U.S. Labor Department said on Thursday.
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Thanksgiving dinner will cost Americans 14% more this year, survey finds
Thanksgiving dinner will cost 14% more this year, according to new survey by the American Farm Bureau Federation. Dinner for a family of 10 will cost on average $53.31 — up $6.41 from last year’s average of $46.90 which was down 4% from 2019, the lowest in 10 years.
Several factors led to this year’s increased pricing, including more Americans expected to cook at home as well as economic disruptions.
“These include dramatic disruptions to the US economy and supply chains over the last 20 months; inflationary pressure throughout the economy; difficulty in predicting demand during the COVID-19 pandemic and high global demand for food, particularly meat,” said Veronica Nigh, senior economist with the American Farm Bureau Federation.
The biggest ticket item — turkey — is up 24% since last year. But there are a few caveats. Grocery stores started advertising lower prices later than usual this year. For example, if you were shopping for a turkey during the week of November 5-11, you could have paid 18% more than the following week November 12-18, the American Farm Bureau found. That means shoppers can still find more affordable turkeys than the Farm Bureau’s estimate of $23.99 for a 16-pound bird.
You can read the full story, here.