US growth fastest in two years; Twitter layoffs part of massive tech cuts; England, Wales insolvencies jump by a fifth

1 US growth fastest in two years (BBC) The US economy grew at the fastest pace in two years in the third quarter, initial figures have indicated. The world’s largest economy grew at an annual rate of 2.9% in the three months to September, the Commerce Department said.

The stronger-than-forecast rate could increase expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates before the end of the year. The annualised rate of 2.9% is equivalent to a quarter-on-quarter rate of 0.7%, which is the way that many other countries express their growth rates.

“There’s nothing here that will put the Fed off hiking in December,” said Aberdeen Asset Management fixed income investment manager Luke Bartholomew. “This shows that the US is roughly on track. It’s a natural bounce-back following a pretty underwhelming year so far.”

2 Twitter layoffs part of massive cuts in tech (David Curran in San Francisco Chronicle) The tech layoffs continue to mount in 2016, as San Francisco’s Twitter is set to announce this week that it’s laying off roughly 300 people.

It comes on the heels of thousands of other tech industry cuts in 2016. Intel, IBM and Cisco are a few of the giant corporations that have let people go but many startups have also contributed to the thousands of pink slips doled out this year in San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

And there may be much more to come, with some predicting many more companies with layoffs this year.

3 England, Wales insolvencies jump by a fifth (The Guardian) The number of people becoming insolvent across England and Wales leapt by a fifth in the third quarter of 2016, with experts warning that the numbers could continue to increase as the cost of living rises following the UK’s Brexit vote.

There were 24,251 personal insolvencies between July and September, marking a 19.3% increase compared with the third quarter of 2015 and a 6% rise on the second quarter of this year, the figures from the Insolvency Service show.

Insolvency experts said the rising cost of living had combined with changes to the rules on insolvencies to drive up the numbers, and that price rises resulting from the falling pound could push more people into difficulty.

Between July and September, the number of bankruptcies – often seen as a last resort – increased by 7% compared with the second quarter of 2016, with 3,844 new cases recorded in the third quarter, the figures show. Despite the jump, bankruptcies are still down by 1.5% compared with a year ago.

Brian Johnson, insolvency partner at HW Fisher & Co chartered accountant, said the rise in IVAs was down to the fact that people carrying debt were doing so in a largely resilient economy where jobs were still stable and they could still earn enough to make payments. “How the economy performs in the next year or two, and the direction of interest rates, will have a material impact on personal insolvency levels moving forward,” he said.


About joesnewspicks

This blog captures interesting news items from around the world for those strained by information overload and yet need to stay updated on global events of significance. The news items displayed are not in order of merit. (The blog takes a weekly off — normally on Sundays — and does not appear when I am on vacation or busy.) I am a journalist for nearly three decades.
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