2015: A Good Year for US Economy

usa economy

According to an article of CNBC, the US economy is going to crawl its way back to the top of the pyramid in the year 2015. A group of business economists is forecasting an advance of 3.1% in the GDP coming from a 2.2% expansion this current year 2014.

It is also predicted by the National Association for Business Economics that the jobless rate will be down to 5.4% by the end of 2015 due to more job opportunities. This prediction was supported by the government’s latest data on job employment which shows growth in the nonfarm payrolls by 321,000.

Despite these positive results in job growth and overall output, the group is not expecting inflation to go away due to the recent decline in the oil prices.

While it is predicted that the U.S. economy will rise next year, they are not so sure about the future state of the global economy. They foresee a global growth of 3.4% in the year 2015 – Europe increasing by 1.2% and Japan by a mere 1% while China is seen to be slowing down to a 7% annual increase.

Secular stagnation happens when majority of the world’s more developed countries have hit a slower growth in a long period of time. According to a survey, half the world is thinking secular stagnation is happening right now and half of those who think are pointing the blame to the debt still carried since the Great Recession while the 20% thinks that the government spending is to be blame. Other reasons cited are as follows: 8% thinks this is due to the slow technical innovation, another 8% blames it on demographic changes, 4% thinks that consumers have cut back in spending after the Great Recession while another 4% thinks that this is due to the excess in global production capacity.

According to CNBC, these are NABE’s other forecasts:
• Inflation will increase from 1.6% this year to 1.7%
• Consumer spending will increase to 2.7% next year from its 2.2% pace this year
• Industrial production will decrease by 0.5% after its 4% increase in 2014
• Housing will continue to recover slowly
• The U.S. budget will shrink from $483 billion in 2014 to $460 billion in 2015
• Hourly compensation for workers will increase by 2.6% next year after a 3% gain this year
• Corporate profits will grow by 6.7% next year
• This year’s growth in export is 3.5% is predicted to grow by 5.4% in the year 2015

The Increasing Popularity Of Modest Office Furniture Trend

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According to a quarterly survey conducted by Michael A. Dunlap & Associates LLC, the office furniture sector continues to have decent improvement all through the month of July. The survey had 700 manufacturers and suppliers of office furniture participants both coming from domestic and abroad.

The month of July recorded a total index score of 56.03 which shows that the office furniture sector remains on a steady growth. This is according to a statement by Mike Dunlap from Holland which is a consulting firm with headquarters in Michigan. He also added that the companies belonging to the small to mid-sized categories are growing faster compared to those that belong to the Top Five. The figure shown by the Overall Index is also an indication that the industry is strong and is considered above the average based on survey which is at 54.82. He revealed that 2015 was the best year they have in more than a decade and the industry is confident that this year 2016 will be a good one if not better.

The MADA/OFI Trends Survey is the one designating ratings to the 10 major business activities including raw material costs, employment levels, gross shipments, new product developmental activity, order backlog or incoming orders, capital investment, employee costs, manufacturing hours, personal outlook and tooling expenditures.

The rankings are based on numbers 1 to 100 with 1 as the worst while 100 is the best. The number 50 represents a neutral state or stagnant. Based on the survey, the gross shipment has increased to 58.95 during the month of April. The all-time high that was recorded was January of this year at 64.33. The average of the 48 survey is set at 57.94. According to the survey there is also improvement in the order backlog index which is 63.33 while the average is at 57.03.

The Employment Index, on the other hand, decreased to 53.42 which is a tad lower than the average which is at 52.40. The Hours Worked Index is now 57.78 which is slightly lower than last April at 58.28 but based on the average of 55.65, the figure is still higher.

Dunlap believes that the industry will continue to prosper as well as the sector of Office Furniture in Brisbane. Another survey will be conducted on October.

Divorced Papers Being Served Through Social Media

Divorced Papers Being Served Through Social Media

If your marriage was not going well and not working for both parties, it could lead to separation. Many opt to just separate and not be involved with each other’s lives right after the separation. Years later, you decided that you needed to have closure or you have found someone else to spend your lifetime with thus you have to file for a divorce. The problem is that you don’t know where you former spouse is after years of not communicating with one another. Aside from the usual route of getting a private investigator to do the job, there is now a new alternative. There are now an increasing number of cases wherein the judges are giving the filing party permission to serve the divorce papers through Facebook in cases where the former spouse can’t be located physically but is active online.

Many people might be wondering why they choose Facebook of all the other online methods. The world is now a more connected place because of social media. According to data, around 51 per cent of the total population of the United States is using social network and active on them. A single person spends an average of 40 minutes every day browsing the site, posting statuses, liking posts and sharing them. Majority of the people have Facebook profiles that are considered their home in the online world. This remains permanent wherever the person transfer or goes. This is a good way for friends and relatives to still stay in touch wherever we are in the world. It is also a good alternative for sending divorce papers since Facebook profiles are considered a valid address much like a street address or a business address.

There are cases where Facebook was used as a medium in process serving. Ellanora Baidoo is an example after she became one of the first spouses to use Facebook to serve the divorce papers to her spouse. The landmark case happened in 2015 and was called Baidoo v. Blood-Dzraku. Facebook was used by Ms. Baidoo because she can’t locate her former spouse after seven years of separation.

The Costs Of Staging A Home

The Costs Of Staging A Home

Home staging is a way to make a house attractive to potential buyers. Like putting makeup to improve a person’s looks, staging is like a surface solution. It helps with making the place look its very best during the selling period. It avoids the costly expense of a full renovation while purposely getting to that same goal to sell a house. It costs around a minimum of 3,500 dollars monthly to put a house in the market with magnificent furniture, exquisite art and accessories.

Staging a home is also a way for prospective buyers to visualize themselves living in the house. Potential buyers couldn’t visualize themselves if the house is empty. They want to see what the house is really like and how the house lives. For Theresa Janaitis, hiring a home stager was a great decision. She required the services of a stager for her New Jersey house spending $7,000. The stager recommended a few things including changing light fixtures and removing wallpaper and some furniture before moving rental furniture to the house. She adds that her house sold for $30,000 on the same day.

There are varying prices when it comes to staging in different states. These commonly start from $250 – $750 consultation for a 2,500 – 3,500 square foot single family house. With furniture, it is around $700 in Iowa and $4,800 in California per month. If the house is empty, it is around $975 monthly in Indiana and $5,500 monthly in California. For a condo unit or smaller spaces under a thousand square feet, it costs around $2,000 – $3,200 monthly. A 4,000 square foot house costs $9,000 monthly. These figures are according to RESA. In a 2013 study from RESA, almost 170 staged houses or properties with values around $300,000 – $499,999 were sold during a duration of 22 days in comparison to 125 days for those unstaged houses or properties.

Whether staging is done entirely to a house or just to a single room in a house like a bathroom, staging emphasizes the house or room. Help is found across many resources online. Visit the website here for an example.

Ugly Is The Way To Do It

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Looking for ugly apparel and buying them is not in most people’s books. However, over the years, this has evolved especially during the holiday seasons.

During the years, ugly sweater parties gained mainstream popularity. There is even a dedicated holiday for wearing these sweaters. On the 3rd Friday of December each year, the National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day is celebrated, and this day has grown increasingly famous ever since. This year, it falls on December 16. It was started by Ugly Christmas Sweater experts wanting to showcase their beloved sweaters. Each year, they go through thrift shops and online shops to search for those ugly sweaters. Joining in this annual tradition is a great way to feel the holiday spirit.

Today, a lot of retailers rode with this trend. Big or small retailers have made it more convenient for everyone. Though nationwide chains sell these sweaters, small businesses have also capitalized on the trend.

A mom with a background in Computer Science knew of the trend in 2008. Anne Marie Blackman got the idea while on Google Trends. She wanted a means to pay for her kids’ college tuition. She stocked up on these sweaters. She bought them from local stores along with materials to get them to be uglier. That year, she sold sweaters ranging from 50 to 100 dollars. Her business has grown ever since. Her company has sold 25 thousand sweaters with a revenue of more than a million dollars. This has been more than enough to pay for her 2 kids college fund plus creating an all year business.

Jack McCarthy is also another businessman profiting from these Christmas sweaters. He started since he was in 8th grade. In 2013 alone, he earned 50 thousand through his website. He also thinks the sweater industry is not fading any time soon.

So, on this specific industry, uglier is the way to do it. Uglier is also better. Anyone who has business wits plus access to thrift stores can profit from these sweaters. With the holiday season just around the corner, these Christmas sweaters will surely be a hit in the stores again.

How Much Life Insurance Does An Individual Need?

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It is very likely that an insurance agent has approached you to offer life insurance but is coverage really important? A life insurance agent will list down plenty of reasons why you need coverage but the most basic reasons are for the replacement of income or cash flow and payment for a debt or obligation. If you have a family that is dependent on your income, it makes sense to have coverage in any amount to satisfy existing debts upon death. For single individuals with no heirs purchasing insurance will allow you to pay off your car loan or home mortgage upon death.

The second reason is very common among families because there must a replacement for income or cash flow if in case the head of the family dies. Loss of income can be addressed by life insurance including child support, alimony and pension payments. There are instances when a divorce decree requires life insurance for a specific period of time to ensure that alimony will be paid even upon the death of the spouse. Regardless of the reasons for taking a life insurance policy, the calculations remain the same.

In order to calculate the amount of life insurance that you will likely need, you have to consider the net rate of return or the expected long term return for the underlying investment. For example, a moderate risk income portfolio could earn you a gross return of 5% annually but you have to make adjustments for taxes and inflation. The insurance tax benefit is tax free but whatever income is generated from the insurance will be levied a corresponding tax. Your insurance income can earn about 4.25% after tax but you have to reduce the after tax rate by inflation rate when calculating the insurance you will need.

If you need basic information regarding life insurance, your best option is Thai life insurance that will ensure you get the best deal. Insurance providers are compared by rank so that your requirements will be fully satisfied at the most cost effective price. Simply provide basic information like age and the type of insurance you want so that you can be provided with a quote.

Confidence Crisis In London Property Development Due To Brexit

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Investors from Asia particularly those from Singapore, China and Hong Kong account for at least 12% or £10.7 billion of the direct real investment in the United Kingdom making them the largest international group of property investors. The United Kingdom has always been one of the top five global real estate investment destinations for decades but Brexit has clouded the outlook for property investments.

Britain has decided to leave the Europe Union and their decision prompted asset managers to freeze withdrawals from real estate funds. Investors are in a rush to redeem their money because commercial property values could drop by about 10% over the next year due to the vote. Deals that are currently pending were put on hold and transaction volume is expected to fall.

However, other developers have considered Brexit as a good opportunity to invest. Guo Guangchang, a Chinese billionaire who is the chairman of conglomerate Fosun Group is looking at investment opportunities in the UK as well as Europe amid the current volatility. City Development Ltd. which is Singapore’s second largest property developer is also looking for property bargains in London and it ready to pounce once an opportunity becomes available. There are select projects in London that are still under development which are being financed by Asian investors from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, China and Japan.

The shares of Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties Company Ltd. a builder of homes in the residential district London’s Nine Elm have fallen by at least 7.2% in Hong Kong since June 23. The shares of SP Setia Berhad, a Malaysian company has lost by 9.5%. China Vanke Co. a large Chinese developer plunged by almost 20% this week after its shares that started trading in Shenzhen were halted for more than 6 months amid a tussle among its stockholders.

While London is experiencing problems in its property market, the demand for Thailand real estate is soaring high. Find that condo for sale Bangkok with ease and confidence by working with a team of professional real estate agents who can apply their firsthand experience in helping those who are unfamiliar with Thailand’s property market.

The Excitement Generated By Bitcoin Halving For The Digital Currency Community

The Excitement Generated By Bitcoin Halving For The Digital Currency Community

Bitcoin halving is eagerly anticipated by the digital currency community because this is only the second time that the bitcoin block reward will be cut in half; a milestone in the bitcoin mining industry. However, there will be a mining difficulty adjustment that will come before the halving which can throw off all countdown timers.

The main question is everybody’s mind right now before the bitcoin halving is where the bitcoin price will finally end up. Since fewer coins are generated daily, there is no guarantee for a significant price movement to occur. Slower inflation is a better thing though because with the limited number of bitcoins in circulation, there will be less significant trading orders. Only the so called elite Bitcoiners will be able to trade their supply for profit but it is also possible that significant trading orders will not occur any time soon.

Bitcoin miners have some tough questions in mind because their operations may become less profitable and unsustainable after the bitcoin halving. However, the bitcoin mining pools and farms in remote areas will not suffer from any impact considering that they are enjoying cheap prices of electricity and hardware.

In terms of bitcoin mining process, it seems that there will be one more difficulty adjustment prior to the halving. It is very likely for the difficulty to go up if there is more hardware mining on the network during the past 2160 block. Everything will depend on how significant the change will be for the countdown timers. Bitcoin halving may actually be off by a few minutes to several hours.

Lots of questions are going to be asked before the bitcoin halving because miners anticipate big changes although no changes may occur after all. It is anybody’s guess but right now the exact time of bitcoin halving remains unknown to everyone.

If you are interested in digital currency, your best option is to study How Bitcoin Mining Works and how you will earn bitcoins for yourself. Software is free and can be downloaded from the net but make sure you have an encrypted online bank account to ensure the security of the bitcoins you will earn.

Why Ride-Sharing Vehicles Are Prohibited At Some Airports

Why Ride-Sharing Vehicles Are Prohibited At Some Airports

Upon arrival at the airport, the next step is to look for transport to take you to your destination. If you are used to taking Uber, 10 of the 40 busiest airports in the United States only allow drivers carrying chauffeur licenses or livery plates. According to Wall Street Journal, the cities that do not allow Uber at their airports include Atlanta, Orlando, Detroit, Boston and Philadelphia. Airports in Kansas City and Houston allow Uber drivers but not Lyft.

Because of the bans imposed by cities like Orlando, undercover agents often pose as travelers to nab erring drivers and teach them to take the ban seriously. On the other hand, Miami airport authorities have issued about 4,000 citations to ride-sharing drivers over the last few years. Each of the citation has a fine that amounts to $1,010. Miami-Dade County has approved an ordinance that allows ride-sharing companies like Lyft to operate at the airport but this does not include Uber.

Some enterprising travelers have figured out a way to go around the restrictions. They take the shuttle bus to rental car lots and call the ride-sharing drivers from there. Some ride-sharing drivers remove the Uber or Lyft logo from the cars and request the passenger to seat beside the driver so that they won’t be caught by the airport police. The airport rules sidelining ride-sharing drivers have reduced the options available for passengers at the airport.

Airports are the most profitable locations for limo drivers who have city licenses and permits. Limo drivers have fought hard to keep Uber and Lyft from airports by staging protests and lobbying city and state officials. The airport is a lucrative market for limo drivers that cater to business travelers. However, Uber and Lyft are aggressively pushing for their share of the airport’s lucrative market considering that 11% of travelers use ride-hailing services.

Link Airport chauffeur has earned a reputation for delivering a high level personal service for both corporate and leisure travelers. Aside from personalized transport service from the airport to your destination, Link Airport chauffeur can also drive you to a social event to ensure that you will be on time for your appointment.

Changes In Kazakh Language Schools

Changes In Kazakh Language Schools

As the economy in China continues to grow and shows its influence, more and more language schools in Kazakhstan are changing from the English language to teaching Chinese instead. This is true in the Almaty language school where a group of students are busy learning Chinese.

According to one of the students whose 33 years old and a painter by profession, Viktoriya Nazarchuk, she became interested in learning Chinese because he loves how Chinese calligraphy is done. Many of the students in Kazakhstan that are learning Chinese knows how influential the economy of Beijing is right now.

She also added that it is important to know not just the country’s language but also their history and culture. When she has mastered enough of the Chinese language, she also plans on teaching her son Chinese because she believes it will be beneficial for his future.

China and its economic power is felt more and more in Kazakhstan thus the popularity of learning Chinese continues to grow. According to the founder of East-West Education Group, Nurzhan Baitemirov, the same place where Ms Nazarchuk is studying, they are already changing their focus from English to Chinese. The place is known to teach English to the locals but they are now interested in offering Chinese classes.

According to Mr Baitemirov, a graduate of Wuhan with a Masters degree, the West part of Kazakhstan which is the main oil-producing part of the country is used to be handled by companies from Canada but now almost of the companies is owned from China thus the belief that if the people know Chinese, they will get a better position. Based on Mr Baitemirov’s estimate, students looking to learn Chinese increased by around 5 per cent monthly and parents wanted their children to learn Chinese to get a better job someday since Chinese investments are everywhere.

A report from the China Scholarship Council shows that there is an increase of Kazakh students going to China to study and the number has risen to 12,000, more than five times compared to the past decade. Despite this, there are still a number of language schools that hire educators to get paid to teach English abroad.

Ongoing Packaging Deal Between RPC And BPI

Ongoing Packaging Deal Between RPC And BPI

RPC is known as a huge business when it comes to packaging products that are made of plastic. The company recently released their business plan of expanding its reach into the industry and they have started by making an offer to purchase a smaller competition which is the British Polythene Industries. The offer is said to be around £261 million.

If the deal went on as planned and RPC successfully acquired BPI, RPC will now have the ability to manufacture plastic stretch wraps which are used as industrial packaging products such as sheets that is used to cover the crops of the fruit growers.

In order for the cash and stock deal goes into negotiation and eventually a signed deal, all the shareholders of BPI must give their approval. BPI is known to be an independent company that received its incorporated status in 1910 but its roots started as a sack making business back in the 18th century.

RPC is company that has acquired various businesses over three years and has amounted to a total of £1.1 billion. They manufacture a wide range of rigid plastic packaging products such as asthma inhalers and coffee capsules.

According to the chief executive of RPC, Pim Vervaat, the deal is a great way for the company to have a gateway into the polythene film business in Europe. With the BPI as their established platform, the company has used this as an opportunity.

With regards to the European market dealing with flexible plastic packaging, only 4 per cent is accounted to BPI. Mr Vervaat disclosed that the decision of the company to acquire the company is just another buy and build technique in order for them to reach into more deals into the future.

He also shared how RPC have competition in two plastic packaging sectors, the rigid and flexible.

According to the chairman of BPI, Cameron McLatchie, there is a positive outcome if ever BPI is acquired by a larger group and it will be able to make its way into the European market and into other countries as well. For those looking for plastic packaging, contact Paper Mart.

A 3-Step Guide To Map Reading

map reading

Right now, the world is dominated by numerous technological advances wherein people have become heavily reliant on them even with their day-to-day activities. When travelling, people trust that their GPS (Global Positioning System) to get them from point A to point B. But what happens when your GPS is inaccessible and you find yourself lost in an unfamiliar territory? For this reason, it is always important to have a handy map ready. Maps have been guiding humankind since ancient times and if you don’t know how to read a map, you should know that it isn’t really that difficult.

Here is a 3-step guide to map reading.

  1. Choose the right map. Over the years, many different types of maps like road maps, topographical maps and map illustration have been invented for particular settings and situations and it is important to have the right map ready.
  2. Understanding the map.
    1. Check the orientation of the map. Most maps have north located at the top and if there isn’t really any indication of a different orientation, then you must assume that the north is at the top.
    2. You should then understand the scale of the map which would usually appear as 1:100,000 which mean that every 1 unit in the map is equivalent to 100,000 in real life. For walking, get a 1:25,000. For driving, get a 1: 190,000 map.
    3. If you are travelling great distances by either flying or sailing, it is important to understand latitude (as represented by the numbers on the side of the map) and longitude (numbers at the top and bottom of the map).
    4. Contour lines determine how high or flat the land is.
    5. Most maps have many different kinds of symbols and in order to understand them, you should look at the map’s legend.
  3. Getting from point A to point B.
    1. Find out where you are in the map by matching what you can see in real life with what is on the map.
    2. Find out where you want to go. You can use the map’s index where you’ll find different places represented by numbers on the map.
    3. Plot your route.