- Weekly jobless claims rise more than expected. The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose more than projected last week though the underlying trend is consistent with continued labor market improvement and the previous week’s claims were revised downward.[i]
- Housing starts boom. Groundbreaking on new homes rose in July to the highest level in nearly eight years. Builders ramped up activity on single-family homes, indicating that they expected significant demand later this year.[ii]
- Inflation rises steadily. A measure of inflation, the general increase in the cost of goods and services, rose slightly in July, supporting expectations of an interest rate hike this year.[iii]
- Existing home sales rocket to eight-year high. Resales of U.S. homes increased more than expected in July, rising 2.0%, and indicating that the housing market has legs.[iv]
Quote of the Week
“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.” – John Wayne
- Tuesday: S&P Case-Shiller HPI, New Home Sales, Consumer Confidence
- Wednesday: Durable Goods Orders, EIA Petroleum Status Report
- Thursday: GDP, Jobless Claims, Pending Home Sales Index
- Friday: Personal Income and Outlays, Consumer Sentiment
Tax Tip of the Week: Don’t Get Snared by Tax ScamsThough tax season is over, tax scammers work year-round to steal money and personal information from the unwary. Even if elderly taxpayers and those who speak English as a second language are most often targeted, anyone can get caught up in a tax scam. The Treasury estimates that tax scams have cost victims over $20 million since October 2013. To avoid becoming a statistic, follow these guidelines:
- Scammers rely on fear and intimidation to do their work. If you receive a call or email that is threatening or aggressive, chances are that it is a scam. The IRS will never bring in the police or immigration authorities because of unpaid taxes.
- Scammers often “spoof” caller ID, meaning phone calls may appear to come from the IRS or another official number. It’s always a good idea to ask for a badge or case number and call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040.
- The IRS will never call you to demand immediate payment or call you before sending a written notice in the mail. You will always have an opportunity to appeal the amount that you owe.
- Never pay any taxes owed by Western Union or prepaid debit card.