Business

Rising Rents Drive More Millennials Toward Homeownership

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Boston — Americans in their 20s and early 30s are getting a nudge toward homeownership a decade after sales peaked during the housing bubble. It’s not their nagging parents. It’s rents, which have risen so much that buying is making more sense. “I pay $1,410 in rent for my one-bedroom apartment in downtown Denver,” said Eric Arther, 28, who has saved about $30,000 for a down payment. “If I pay …

Pilot Was Locked Out of Cockpit

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Seyne-Les-Alpes, France — The first half of Germanwings Flight 9525 was chilling in its normalcy. It took off from Barcelona en route to Duesseldorf, climbing up over the Mediterranean and turning over France. The last communication was a routine request to continue on its route. Minutes later, at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, the Airbus …

Nursing Home Bills Squeeze Insurers

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

New York — Thirty years ago, insurance companies had the answer to the soaring cost of caring for the elderly: Plan ahead and buy a policy that will cover your expenses. Now, there’s a new problem: Even insurers think it’s unaffordable. Life insurance firms pitched long-term care policies as the prudent way for …

Warmer Weather Lets Farmers Plant Crops Earlier in Canada

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Winnipeg, Manitoba — Farmers in Canada will probably be able to sow grain and oilseed crops early this year because warmer-than-usual weather is forecast for the spring. Temperatures in the Canadian prairies are expected to remain above normal until mid-April, when a cold front in the United States …

Big Banks Are Scaling Back Their Brick-and-Mortar Presence

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Pittsburgh — Big banks have been scaling back their massive branch networks in recent years — closing offices and designing smaller ones — as more customers have fewer reasons to do their banking any way but electronically. At least one industry player believes it won’t be long before …

How to Attack Root Causes of Your Debt Problem

Sunday, March 22, 2015

You’ve likely seen commercials that urge you to consolidate all your debt into a loan on which you make the heralded “one low payment.” The concept promises to free some cash so you can more easily live paycheck to paycheck. The consolidation plan also, if you use it …

Consumer Confidential: Credit-Reporting Firms’ Accuracy Push Still Not Enough

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The heavyweight companies that keep credit files on about 200 million U.S. consumers are patting themselves on the back for unveiling steps to improve the accuracy of their records. This would be laudable if it weren’t so laughable. The reality is that credit-reporting firms have been required for …

Fed Redefines Jobless Range It Considers Acceptable

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Washington — The Federal Reserve was in a tough spot: The February U.S. unemployment rate of 5.5 percent is right where the Fed had been saying inflation would likely start to accelerate. Yet inflation remains even lower than the Fed wants it to be. So on Wednesday, the …

Drug-Makers Moves to Protect Profits Draw Interest From U.S. Regulators

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Executives at drug company Actavis knew they had to move fast to avoid a plunge in sales of their top-selling drug, Namenda, a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease that would lose patent protection in July. When that happened, generic knockoffs would flood the market, and doctors and pharmacists could …

Money Talk: No Need to Close IRA to Make Investment Change

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Question: I went to renew my IRA certificate of deposit and the bank officer suggested that I renew at the greater rate being offered for a five-year term (about 1.5 percent APR) rather than the lower rate for a one-year term (about 1 percent APR). She explained that …

Mortgage Trends: What To Expect This Spring

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The first few months of 2015 are behind us and many consumers are wondering if an interest rate hike is in the near future, especially in regard to mortgage rate trends. Real estate activity during last few months of 2014 was slower than expected — both seller and …

U.S. Consumer Outlook Retreats From 4 -Year High

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Washington — Americans’ outlooks for the U.S. economy dimmed in March from a four-year high as feeble wage gains and harsh winter weather weighed on sentiment. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index’s monthly economic expectations gauge fell to a three-month low of 51.5 from a February reading of 54 …

Vermont Has Bailout Plan For Website

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Montpelier — Gov. Peter Shumlin on Friday announced contingency plans for a federal government takeover of the state’s troubled health insurance exchange and an alternative hybrid federal-state system. Vermont Health Connect still isn’t meeting its goals, and if it doesn’t meet two key ones in the coming months, …