Editor’s note: Each Monday, Talk Business & Politics provides “Money Talk,” a wrap-up of banking and financial news. ––––––––––––––––
ST. LOUIS FED: IS THE U.S. DUE FOR ANOTHER RECESSION?
Recent global growth concerns have caused significant stock market turmoil since August 2015, when China devalued the yuan. The potential slowdown in the rest of the global economy has renewed concern of a recession beginning in the U.S. In addition, U.S. economic recovery since the Great Recession has been slow. Although the unemployment rate has dropped from 10% to under 5%, many other labor market statistics still show some weakness.
For example, Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen cited elevated involuntary part-time employment, low labor force participation and slow real wage growth in her December remarks. The slow labor market recovery and vivid memories of the Great Recession may exacerbate concerns of a future recession.
A recent article by Fed economists YiLi Chien investigates the possibility of the next recession occurring soon from the perspective of U.S. business cycle history.
MOBILE BILL PAY ON THE RISE, INDUSTRY STUDY SAYS
Visits to biller websites from mobile devices grew 42% over the past year and now make up 24% of all website visits. During these visits, bill payment is the number one activity, followed by bill views and customer self-service, according to a study by Fiserv Inc. that examines the progression of mobile bill payment and billers’ approaches to mobile bill pay and presentment (MBPP).
Data from more than 130 billing organizations in various industries, including utilities, insurance, telecom and financial services, also revealed that 54% of billers now offer mobile bill payment to their customers with 23% set to deploy in the next six to 12 months. This marks an increase of 40% in the number of billers currently offering the service, compared to 2014. Forty-two percent of billers believe increased mobile billing and payment usage will significantly increase the adoption of paperless e-billing and payments.
The Fiserv “Fourth Annual Biller Mobile Bill Pay Benchmark” white paper is available here.
AEDC TO HOST TWO WORKSHOPS FOR MINORITY BUSINESS OWNERS
The Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s (AEDC) Small and Minority Business Division will host two workshops this month geared toward minority business owners. The Certification Training Workshop will be held Wednesday, March 16, from 9 to 11 a.m. at AEDC’s Rockefeller Conference Room, 900 W. Capitol Ave., Suite 400, in Little Rock. The Minority Business Loan Mobilization Guaranty Program workshop will follow at the same location from 2 to 4 p.m.
To register for one or both classes, visit ArkansasSMBworkshops.eventbrite.com. For information on other minority business services, call AEDC’s Small and Minority Business Division at 501-682-2559 or visit www.ArkansasEDC.com.