It’s Your Money – Jan 21. 2021

Business

(WETM) – In today’s “It’s Your Money”, we discuss the latest stimulus check and the economic impact of it, trouble connecting with the IRS, and unemployment.

Latest stimulus check

According to a new Bankrate.com survey, more than half of Americans say the latest stimulus checks will not last them a full month.

Even though they say it is not enough, 71% of people say the economic aid will be beneficial to their short-term financial situation.

“Biden announced a $1.9 trillion economic rescue plan on Jan. 14 to increase Americans’ stimulus payments by an extra $1,400 and extend jobless programs until at least September,” said Sarah Foster of Bankrate.com. “But the legislative process is bound to take some time, and the clock is ticking as unemployment edges higher and coronavirus caseloads again soar, forcing many businesses and restaurants to shutter.”

Impact of the extra money on businesses

The Wall Street Journal reports restaurants chains are seeing a bump in sales after the latest round of stimulus checks.

Some chains that are crediting higher sales to the stimulus include: McDonald’s, TGI Friday’s, and Church’s Chicken.

However, it is unclear how long this increase will last. Restaurants continue to navigate the changing rules on indoor dining and other COVID-19 restrictions.

Thousands of restaurants have closed and more are expected to do so this winter.

100 million people called the IRS in 2020

A new report put out by the IRS stated that the agency received more than 100 million calls in the fiscal year 2020.

Only 1 in 4 callers actually got through to someone on the phone.

That means the IRS employees did not answer more than 75 million calls from taxpayers seeking help.

Unemployment still high

900,000 Americans filed for first time unemployment benefits last week according to the US Department of Labor.

The good news is that this number is down from 926,000 the previous week.

Latest on Wall Street

Wall Street opened with modest gains after stocks hit record highs yesterday amid a batch of strong earnings reports and optimism surrounding the inauguration.

The Dow rose more than 250 points. The S&P 500 rose 1.5%. Lastly, the NASDAQ was up almost 2%. This increase could be attributed to a 16% surge in Netflix on the back of its earnings report.

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