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Business News

Economic Data Shows Strength


Markets started higher yesterday then sold off as we had a very strong US Treasury auction that drove rates on the 10-year note to 2.7%. As we start today the S&P 500 is essentially flat for 2014. (CNBC)

New unemployment claims for last week were down 10,000 to 311,000. That is a good number and shows a strengthening job market over the next six months. (Reuters)

The final reading on fourth quarter gross domestic product was revised up to 2.6%. The private sector grew much quicker and government showed contraction. (Reuters)

Beer is big business in Oregon with 188 “brewing establishments” of which 50 are in Portland and 18 in Bend. (Oregon Live)  Other Oregon brew facts include:

5127 persons employed by the industry.
$28,190 is the average worker pay.
Oregon holds 5.7% market share of the national craft brew industry.

For decades a lot of companies claimed severance packages for terminated employees was not subject to Social Security and Medicare taxes, claiming they were supplemental unemployment benefits.  On an 8-0 vote the Supreme Court put an end to that practice. Over $1 billion in tax revenues and potential refunds were at stake in the case. (Bloomberg)


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