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U.S. Household Incomes Rose to Record in 2016 as Poverty Fell

US middle class income highest ever in 2016The U.S. median household income rose to a record last year and the poverty rate fell, as steady economic growth helped improve the lot of more Americans, according to annual data from the U.S. Census Bureau released Tuesday.

The results show improving incomes helped to make a further dent in poverty in 2016, which was President Barack Obama’s final year in office.

Strength in the labor market likely played a role. The economy added 2.2 million jobs last year and the unemployment rate had declined to 4.7 percent by year end. It’s fallen further in recent months to a 16-year low.

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US job growth slows to 156K; unemployment up to 4.4 pct.

Jobs downU.S. job growth slowed in August as employers added 156,000 jobs, though still enough to suggest that most businesses remain confident in an economy now in its ninth year of recovery from the Great Recession.

The unemployment rate ticked up from 4.3 percent to a still-low 4.4 percent, the Labor Department said Friday. The government also revised down its estimate of job growth in June and July by a combined 41,000, leaving an average monthly gain this year of a solid 176,000.

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US central bank chief rebukes Trump over plan to lift regulations

Janet YellenDonald Trump has been rebuked by the US central bank chief, Janet Yellen, for planning to scrap tough banking regulations that made the system “substantially safer” and did nothing to restrict growth or lending.

Yellen, the Federal Reserve chair, used a speech at the annual meeting of central bankers on Friday in the US ski resort of Jackson Hole to warn that policymakers might have forgotten the terrible damage wreaked on the global economy in 2008 when they seek to lift regulations that prevent risky behaviour.

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Reality Check: America and the Foxconn Dream

Foxcom dream in WisconsinWisconsin is about to shell out as much as $3 billion for the privilege of luring Foxconn Technology Group. At $519 per citizen, it would have been cheaper to buy an iPhone for every man, woman and child in the midwestern state.

Let's be clear: The big winner isn't the taxpayer. It's Foxconn and its billionaire chairman Terry Gou. As I predicted several times, Foxconn would only come to the U.S. if and when his demands were met.

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Fed keeps interest rate unchanged amid low inflation

Janet YellenThe Federal Reserve declined Wednesday to raise its benchmark interest rate amid a low inflation rate that's lagging despite a strong job market.

Strong job growth normally drives up prices, but it is not the case now. The unemployment rate is 4.4 percent but inflation is below its targeted 2 percent.

"In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1 to 1-1/4 percent," the Fed said in a statement. "The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting some further strengthening in labor market conditions and a sustained return to 2 percent inflation."

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JPMorgan Whistle-Blowers Set to Reap Record $61 Million Bounty

JP Morgan whitleblowersTwo whistle-blowers are set to share a record $61 million award from the Securities and Exchange Commission for helping make the case that JPMorgan Chase & Co. failed to disclose to wealthy clients that it was steering them into investments that would be most profitable for the bank.

The SEC issued letters on Wednesday notifying six whistle-blower applicants of the preliminary decision. The letters said that two of them would share almost a quarter of the record asset-management settlement that the SEC reached with the bank in December 2015.

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CBO rejects Trump's claim that budget plan would eliminate deficit

Trump budgetThe Congressional Budget Office cast doubt Thursday on the White House’s claim that President Trump’s proposed budget would balance in 10 years.

In its analysis of the spending plan Trump unveiled in May, the non-partisan budget office said that the deficit would shrink under the Trump budget but would still total $720 billion in 2027. The White House had projected a $16 billion surplus in 2027.

The difference is mostly Trump's economic optimism.

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