Higher Rock Education - Economics Blog

Monday, December 23, 2019

Economics in the News – Dec. 16-22

Economics impacts our lives every day. Below are some of the top storylines from this past week in economic news.

  • Many workers will see an increase in their pay in 2020, as the minimum wage is set to increase in 21 states to $15 an hour, USA Today reports. The move will mean that 29 states, 61% of the United States population, will now have pay floors above the federal government’s $7.25 hourly minimum.
  • Americans increased their spending in November by 0.4%, marking the fastest pace in four months. The Associated Press reports that consumer spending was led by a 1% surge on durable goods such as automobiles and appliances. 
  • With the rise in digital wallets and payment methods, will the United States become a cashless society in 2020? USA Today writes that while it’s not likely for the U.S. to become cashless, it’s likely to see a trend continue where cash is deemed unnecessary. 
  • When the global financial crisis was coming to an end in 2009, economists assumed that the United States’ recovery would resemble previous recoveries. However, according to The Wall Street Journal’s Decade in Review, economists didn’t foresee interest rates remaining low for a long period of time along with a record-low unemployment rate. 
  • This past weekend saw the release of ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Luke Skywalker’ which marked the fifth Star Wars movie in four years by Disney. Forbes reports that the film took in a disappointing $175.5 million, the lowest opening of the trilogy produced by the Walt Disney Co., 29% below ‘The Force Awakens’ in 2015 and 20% below ‘The Last Jedi’ in 2017.
  • Only for the third time in US history, a president has been impeached, as reported by The New York Times. President Trump was impeached on December 18th in a partisan vote. The charges are: abuse of power, and obstruction of Congress. He will now go on trial in the US Senate, where he’s not expected to be found guilty. 

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