New home sales increased by less than expected across the U.S. last month, after a slump in April, according to data released today by the Census Bureau. Sales of new single-family houses in May were 10.7 percentage points above the revised total of 629,000 in April, when new home sales plunged 16.6 percent month-on-month to their lowest level since April 2020, as costs continued rising for both home builders and potential buyers. May's new home sales were still 5.9 percent below the May 2021 estimate of 740,000. Why Are New Home Sales Stalling? First-time buyers are being squeezed out of the market, as a combination of soaring mortgage rates, the limited inventory available, soaring inflation and record-high home prices—34 percent higher now than two years ago—is hitting them hard. Buying a house is simply not affordable for many people at the moment. Mortgage rates are at their highest levels since 2008, after the average 30-year rate rose from 3.1 percent to 6.28 … [Read more...] about Are we heading for a housing market crash? What home sales data reveals
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A government-backed “Great British Rail sale” offering cheap train tickets will not help hard-pressed commuters, critics say. The Department for Transport (DfT) said the offer was “further supporting families with the cost of living” at a time of high inflation . Around a million tickets will be reduced , some to less than £3, but overall that amounts to just 1% of all rail journeys available. But it will only target intercity travel at off-peak times. The fares include a single journey from London to Edinburgh for £22, Manchester to Newcastle for £10.30, and Birmingham to Bristol Temple Meads for £12.60. The cut-price tickets will only be available for a five-week period before the next half-term holiday, from April 25 to May 27, and are not expected to be available over the first May bank holiday weekend. But the scheme has been criticised by Labour and trade unions, who say it doesn't do anything to help commuters. An advert for the Great British Rail … [Read more...] about Great Rail Sale branded a ‘headline grabbing gimmick’ that won’t help commuters
The FTSE 100 closed in the red after traders digested another 40-year-high for UK inflation levels. A consumer price index (CPI) inflation reading of 9.1% was in line with expectations for May, but rocketing producer prices showed inflationary woes are not likely to reverse any time soon. Nevertheless, London’s index of top stocks finished the day with a slight improvement on early trading after growing positivity on Wall Street. The FTSE 100 ended the day down 62.83 points, or 0.88%, at 7,089.22. Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “The fragile nature of this week’s rebound has been laid bare today, with a sharp slide in oil prices in Asia, spilling over into broader market weakness, with the Dax sliding below last week’s lows, before rebounding, while the FTSE has also slipped back sharply. Recommended Russia says EU sanctions that prompted transit ban ‘unacceptable’ “Today’s inflation numbers from the UK came across … [Read more...] about FTSE slides as trading knocked by rise in UK inflation
The Covid-19 pandemic has been a major catalyst for change, and for many people, this has translated to seismic shifts in eating patterns or the addition of essential superfoods into their diets. One of these popular new inclusions has been raw honey, which is renowned for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. “Our enquiries for bee products increased, and sales increased by 42%, which I think means that the health-conscious public are seeking more options for their general wellbeing. “In fact, at one point, demand was so high, we didn’t have enough to supply to consumers,” says beekeeper Steve Chor, who produces a range of raw honey under the umbrella of his brand Steve Honey. Chor’s views are echoed by Paul Poh who owns honey-centric lifestyle stores Jungle House with his wife Ashley Lam. Poh says demand for raw honey and other honey products shot up during the pandemic. — JUNGLE HOUSE “Oh yes, a lot of people have been enquiring about honey – not just raw … [Read more...] about Sales of raw honey soared during the pandemic, but what is it exactly?
CHICAGO, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose on Friday as the U.S. dollar fell. The most active gold contract for August delivery rose 50 cents, or 0.03 percent, to close at 1,830.3 U.S. dollars per ounce. Gold posted a loss of 0.6 percent for the week. Economic data released on Friday are mixed. The University of Michigan (UM) consumer sentiment index fell to 50.0 in the June 2022 survey, down from 58.4 in May and below last June's 85.5, supporting gold. U.S. Commerce Department reported that U.S. new home sales jumped 10.7 percent to an annual rate of 696,000, seasonally adjusted, recovering most of the sharp retreat in April. Speaking Friday during a panel discussion on central banks and inflation hosted by UBS in Zurich, Switzerland, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said rapid rise in interest rates now is the best way to avoid recession later. While a recession is "certainly possible, I actually think we'll … [Read more...] about Gold rises as U.S. dollar falls
The UK’s supermarket sandwich sector is “still too meaty” but there has been a significant jump in the use of alternative proteins as fillers, according to a survey. The use of alternative proteins as sandwich fillers has increased by 620% since 2019, a survey of 420 sandwiches from 14 retailers and food service outlets by the Eating Better sustainable food alliance found. However, many major supermarkets have reduced or dropped their plant-based sandwich offerings, while others are charging more for climate-friendly fillings. Eating Better said Tesco’s vegan sandwich range had shrunk by 28% since 2019, while Morrisons and Asda have entirely removed their plant-based sandwich options. Vegan sandwiches also tended to be more expensive, costing 15% more at Sainsbury’s than its meat offer, the survey found. Recommended Russia says EU sanctions that prompted transit ban ‘unacceptable’ On average, plant-based options are the most expensive sandwich … [Read more...] about Supermarket sandwiches ‘still too meaty’ amid alternative protein use rise
Facebook Inc filed a motion on Monday asking a US court to dismiss the Federal Trade Commission ’s antitrust case against the company, which seeks to force it to sell Instagram and WhatsApp . The motion was filed on the same day the company’s platforms experienced a six-hour-long global outage that may cost the world economy nearly $1bn according to some estimates. In its argument, the social media giant said there was “no valid factual basis” for branding the company an “unlawful monopolist”, and added that the Federal Trade Commission’s August complaint relied on “guesswork rather than facts.” Facebook asked that the lawsuit be dismissed with prejudice, adding that the case was “entirely without legal or factual support.” The latest lawsuit is an amended version of the case filed by the Federal Trade Commission, which Facebook won in June by arguing that it is not a monopoly and that it faces intense competition from the likes of TikTok “and scores of other … [Read more...] about Facebook asks US court to dismiss antitrust case to force sale of Instagram and WhatsApp
The 2022 Asian Games which were scheduled to take place in Hangzhou in September have been postponed until an unspecified date. The Chinese state media reported the development on Friday, citing the Olympic Council of Asia as no reason was specified. IPL 2022 – FULL COVERAGE | SCHEDULE | RESULTS | ORANGE CAP | PURPLE CAP | POINTS TABLE “The Olympic Council of Asia has announced that the 19th Asian Games, originally scheduled to be held in Hangzhou, China from September 10 to 25, 2022, will be postponed,” said a statement on the official Games website, first posted on Chinese state media. The new dates for the sporting contest “will be announced at a later date”, the statement added. China had previously hosted the Asian Games in Guangzhou in 2010. The OCA also said that the Asian Youth Games Shantou 2021, which had been postponed earlier, will be cancelled now. “Additionally, the OCA EB also studied the situation of the 3rd Asian Youth Games, which was … [Read more...] about Asian Games 2022 Postponed Amid Rising Covid-19 Cases and Lockdowns In China
Gas prices aren't changing the minds of SUV owners to switch over to sedans, according to the latest data from automotive research firm AutoPacific . In a survey of more than 300 current SUV owners, the firm found that most of them would not consider downsizing to a smaller SUV or switching to a sedan when making their next vehicle purchase. But 45 percent of those surveyed said that they'd consider making the switch to a hybrid or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) SUV or crossover the next time they're car shopping. "Most new traditional gasoline SUVs get much better fuel economy now than they did when fuel prices spiked in 2008 and caused a shift in the market," AutoPacific president and chief analyst Ed Kim said in a press release. "Couple that with an influx of hybrid, PHEV and EV SUV offerings and consumers have so many choices that they don't have to downsize or change vehicle types." More than a quarter of respondents said that gas prices won't affect their next car purchase … [Read more...] about SUV owners won’t downsize just because of high gas prices.
There are few true American dynasties. The Rockefellers, Mellons, Astors and DuPonts come to mind. The Gettys, too, are on that list. Founded by oil baron J. Paul Getty who moved under the radar until his "outing" as the richest American by Fortune magazine in 1957, the subsequent four generations of his family have been in the spotlight navigating fields from environmentalism to fashion to business, music, digital archives, arts, LGBTQ rights and politics. With five wives, the patriarch of the dynasty, J. Paul Getty, fathered four sons who lived to adulthood, and the family tree has flowered to some 19 grandchildren, 40 great-grandchildren and 15 great-great-grandchildren. Family scandals and internal squabbles such as Getty's son Gordon's (unsuccessful) seven-year court challenge over the family trust in the 1960s and the kidnapping of his eldest grandson in 1973, as well as subsequent battles with drug addiction, depression, adultery and internal squabbles over the sale of … [Read more...] about The surprising Newsom, Pelosi and Harris ties with the Getty oil dynasty