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Obama advisers say US economy poised for gains 2014-2015
President Barack Obama’s advisers said the U.S. economy is on track to strengthen and add more jobs in the next two years because many of the impediments to faster growth have subsided.
The unemployment rate has dropped to the lowest levels in more than five years, deficits have been cut by more than half, housing is on the rebound, manufacturers are adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s and exports are accelerating, Obama said in an annual economic report to Congress.
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National Home Equity reaches highest level since 2007
Reverse Mortgage Daily
Though still healing from the Great Recession, the housing market continues to show positive strides, especially as homeowners’ equity rises to a level not seen since 2007.
Nationwide, homeowners’ equity is up nearly $412 billion, or 4.3 percent, in the fourth quarter of 2013 — the highest level since the fourth quarter of 2007, according to the February 2014 edition of the Obama Administration’s Housing Scorecard.
Why business loans get rejected
Several recent news reports suggest businesses are finding it easier to get bank loans or other forms of financing. That would be good news for the economy, because access to capital, especially access by privately held companies, is a component of job and economic growth.
Despite the attention stock market performance receives, researchers at the Pepperdine University have noted “the relationship between public stock returns and real economic activity has been shown to be weak, at best.”
NFIB: Small business optimism, hiring plans drop in February
Small business optimism took a turn for the worse in February, according to the latest National Federation of Independent Business reading.
The NFIB index fell 2.7 points last month to 91.4, a reading which the organization said is historically associated with recessions and below-average growth.
Survey from Better Homes and Gardens reveals how millennials are changing home marketplace
Better Homes and Gardens has released findings from its sixth-annual survey on the attitude and spending trends of homebuyers.
This year's research focused on millennials' preferences for their next home, and asked more than 3,200 prospective homebuyers to share their thoughts on home improvement spending, the importance of personalization and technology in home value.
Small business tax credits for Obamacare?
With the deadline for Obamacare enrollment looming at the end of March, you are probably getting some questions from employees. Perhaps the most common one is: Will you offer insurance?
Well, if so, then you may actually be eligible for a tax credit. That is, a tax credit reduces your tax liability on a dollar-for-dollar basis — it could mean that you owe zero taxes for the year.
Don't count on home equity for retirement income
Are you counting on your home to fund your retirement? You’re not alone. A recent survey by Sun Life Financial showed that 24 percent of respondents believed that residential real estate would serve as their primary source of retirement income. But this could be a false hope, and financial planning practices have rarely seen it happen.
Small business loans on rise
The Associated Press via Journal Gazette
The logjam in lending to small businesses is showing signs of clearing. Nearly five years after the recession ended, bankers are lending more and businesses say it’s easier to get loans. Banks are courting company owners and giving them easier terms. Still, caution remains, especially when a business is young or considered risky.
5 tax deductions that could get you audited
Business News Daily
Just because you're a small business owner, doesn't mean the IRS doesn't have a close eye on you. In fact, Jessie Seaman, a licensed tax professional with the Tax Defense Network, said small businesses are now the target of IRS audits more than ever before.
Even the Small Business Administration suggests that small businesses are unfairly targeted by the IRS .
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