While our nation’s economy has clawed its way back since the start of the pandemic, some experts say a return to “normal” may not be possible. The latest reading from the Back-to-Normal Index, created by CNN Business and Moody’s Analytics, shows that America is inching closer to “normalcy,” but the last mile will be tough. While many states have lifted COVID restrictions, pre-pandemic life still hasn’t fully been restored. Economists believe unemployment claims, remote work, domestic travel, and hotel occupancy are among the fundamental changes that are keeping the balance from being restoring. In other news, U.S. gold prices rebounded Monday after last week’s sharp drop.
CNN Business/Anneken Tappe
The US economy is never going back to ‘normal’
The US economy has come a long way since last year’s devastating downturn. But a return to “normal” may not be possible.
The Back-to-Normal Index created by CNN Business and Moody’s Analytics stands at 93% as of June 18, a new pandemic-era high.
The index is comprised of 37 national and seven state-level indicators that track metrics such as consumer credit, unemployment claims, job postings, domestic air travel and hotel occupancy.
The latest reading shows that America is inching closer to “normalcy,” but the last mile will be tough. Although various states have done away with pandemic-era restrictions, life, as it used to be, hasn’t fully resumed.
In fact, the pandemic may have changed some fundamentals of the economy in ways that mean it’s never going back to “normal.”
For example, many people are still working from home and might continue to do so indefinitely. While some companies are ordering their staff to return to the office, others are adjusting to a new normal of more remote work and a more geographically diverse workforce.
You can read the full story, here.
Kitco News/Jim Wyckoff
Gold sees corrective price bounce after recent selling pressure
Gold prices are moderately up in early U.S. trading Monday on a corrective rebound after dropping sharply last week. Silver prices are modestly lower to start the trading week. August gold futures were last up $8.00 at $1,776.40 and July Comex silver was last down $0.039 at $25.93 an ounce.
Global stock markets were mixed overnight, with Asian shares mostly lower and European shares mostly higher. The U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward higher openings when the New York day session begins, after suffering a rough week last week.
The marketplace continues to buzz about inflation prospects after last week’s hawkish monetary policy tone from the Federal Reserve. However, with many economic indicators pointing to the stronger potential for higher inflation creating problems, one major indicator does not: U.S. Treasury yields. The yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note is fetching 1.43% Monday morning. That’s lower than the yield on the 10-year note that was seen prior to last Wednesday’s FOMC meeting results. U.S. T-Note yields have fallen for five straight weeks. The marketplace will closely scrutinize Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s remarks to a House committee Tuesday afternoon.
In other news, Bitcoin prices fell over 10% after China authorities said banks and payment institutions cannot provide payment services for crypto-currency related transactions. Also, the city of Ya’an moved to curtail digital mining in the hydropower-rich region of China.
Read the full story, here.
Biden’s top tax rate on capital gains, dividends would be among highest in developed world
The U.S. would tax capital gains and dividends for the rich at among the highest rates in the developed world if President Joe Biden’s proposal were enacted.
The top rate high-earning Americans pay on dividends and the sale of appreciated assets would jump to nearly 49%, when combining all federal and state taxes, according to the Tax Foundation.
Ireland is the only other developed nation to levy a higher tax on investment income – 51% on dividends. But when it comes to capital gains, the U.S. would claim the highest top rate, according to Tax Foundation data.
(Unlike the U.S., many countries tax capital gains and dividends at different rates.)
“If the [Biden] proposal went through, we’re right at the top of the world,” according to James Hines Jr., a law and economics professor at the University of Michigan and research director at its Office of Tax Policy Research.
The U.S. currently taxes qualified dividends and long-term capital gains for the wealthiest citizens at about 29%. (Again, that’s a combined rate that includes state and federal taxes.)
That levy is about average among the 37 nations in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, according to tax experts.
Keep reading, here.