Last week was a busy week: The Feds were watching the inflation index carefully, federal student loan suspensions will be ending soon, Bakkt partnered with Mastercard to accept cryptocurrency, and Apple and Amazon saw prices fall.
Prices Continue to Rise as Inflation Index Still at 30-Year High
With the annual inflation rising at the fastest pace in 30 years, the Federal Reserve and the White House wonder what to do. Meanwhile, prices climbed by 4.4 percent in the year through September, according to the Personal Consumption Expenditures price index data released on Friday, Oct. 29.
The new data comes ahead of a Fed meeting next week, at which it is expected to announce its plan to begin pulling back some COVID-19 pandemic support for the economy.
“Americans have not seen inflation like we have experienced recently in a long time,” Janet Yellen, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “As we get back to normal, expect that to end.”
Apple and Amazon See Stock Price Drop
Despite less-than-stellar earnings from technology giants Apple and Amazon, stocks from other major companies continued to rise on Friday.
The Standard & Poor 500’s record increase reversed previous losses. In addition, the Nasdaq also reached a record increase.
Apple shares decreased after lagging iPhone sales did not meet expected forecasts. Like Apple, Amazon shares dipped as a result of predicting a jump in its expenses because of supply chain disruptions as well as the rising costs associated with employment, freight and raw materials.
Apple and Amazon’s dipping stocks echo Wall Street’s concerns on supply chain disruptions, raw materials shortages and labor costs affecting companies as demand is rising.
Student Loan Repayments to Resume In January 2022
The pandemic pause on federal student loan payments will see its end at the beginning of 2022. Student loan repayments will resume on Jan. 31, 2022, the U.S. Department of Education has announced.
In March 2020, the U.S. Department of Education suspended payments on federal student loans and paused interest increases. The suspended payments have enabled Americans who lost their jobs or faced a reduction in work hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic to be relieved of making payments.
When repayment begins in January, borrowers who are still unable to pay will have the option of applying for a forbearance or hardship deferment. However, interest will no longer be suspended on any loans.
Mastercard to Offer Cryptocurrency
Digital wallet app Bakkt and Mastercard have announced a partnership that will allow merchants, financial institutions and fintech companies to provide consumers with cryptocurrency services. Branded cryptocurrency debit and credit cards also will be issued to consumers in an aim to make using this form of currency seamless.