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Hospitals — Economic Contribution Often Overlooked (2015 Update)

May 19, 2015 Comments off

Economic Contribution Often Overlooked (2015 Update) (PDF)
Source: American Hospital Association

In 2013, America’s hospitals treated 134 million people in their emergency departments, provided care for 544 million other outpatients, performed almost 27 million surgeries, and delivered nearly 4 million babies. Every year, hospitals provide vital health care services like these to millions of people in thousands of communities. However, the importance of hospitals to their communities extends far beyond health care.

International Federation of the Phonographic Industry publishes Digital Music Report 2015

April 27, 2015 Comments off

IFPI publishes Digital Music Report 2015
Source: International Federation of the Phonographic Industry

Revenues from digital music services match those from physical format sales for the first time, according to IFPI’s Digital Music Report, published today.

Digital revenues rose 6.9 per cent to US$6.9 billion, representing 46 per cent of all global music sales and underlining the deep transformation of the global music industry over recent years. The industry’s overall global revenues in 2014 were largely unchanged, falling just 0.4 per cent to US$14.97 billion (US$15.03 billion).

The new report shows an industry in continuing transition, with consumers embracing the music access models of streaming and subscription. Another steep increase in subscription revenues (+39.0%) offset declining download sales (-8.0%) to drive overall digital revenues, while the number of paying users of subscription services rose 46.4 per cent to an estimated 41 million.

Subscription services are now at the heart of the music industry’s portfolio of businesses, representing 23 per cent of the digital market and generating US$1.6 billion in trade revenues.

Boomer Expectations for Retirement 2015 — Fifth Annual Update on the Retirement Preparedness of the Boomer Generation

April 22, 2015 Comments off

Boomer Expectations for Retirement 2015 — Fifth Annual Update on the Retirement Preparedness of the Boomer Generation (PDF)
Source: Insured Retirement Institute

Each year the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) conducts a survey to measure the retirement preparedness of the Boomer generation. This report, the fifth in the series, summarizes the results of the 2015 survey and analyzes key changes over the past five years.

As Baby Boomers age, and as more members of the cohort are either in or very near retirement, the survey responses are changing. For an increasing number of Boomers, especially those that have not taken steps to plan effectively, retirement reality is not aligning with retirement expectations.

Overall satisfaction fell considerably in this year’s study, following a significant decline last year. However, respondents who have taken steps to prepare for retirement, such as working with financial advisors, calculating retirement goals, purchasing retirement income products such as annuities, and developing retirement plans report much higher levels of overall economic satisfaction and retirement preparedness. As we’ll see in the detailed study results, Boomers who have prepared, and have realistic expectations, for retirement are much more likely to report overall satisfaction, confidence in their retirement readiness, and progress toward a secure retirement.

Terrorism Risk Insurance Program: Renewed and Restructured

April 6, 2015 Comments off

Terrorism Risk Insurance Program: Renewed and Restructured
Source: Insurance Information Institute
From blog post:

The April 2013 Boston bombing may have marked the first successful terrorist attack on U.S. soil since the September 11, 2001 tragedy, but terrorism on a global scale is increasing.

Yesterday’s attack by the Al-Shabaab terror group at a university in Kenya and a recent attack by gunmen targeting foreign tourists at the Bardo museum in Tunisia point to the persistent nature of the terrorist threat.

Groups connected with Al Qaeda and the Islamic State committed close to 200 attacks per year between 2007 and 2010, a number that grew by more than 200 percent, to about 600 attacks in 2013, according to the Global Terrorism Database at the University of Maryland.

Latest threats to U.S. targets include calls by Al-Shabaab for attacks on shopping malls.

And a recent intelligence assessment circulated by the Department of Homeland Security focused on the domestic terror threat from right-wing sovereign citizen extremists.

On January 12, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2015.

A new I.I.I. white paper, Terrorism Risk Insurance Program: Renewed and Restructured, takes us through each of more than eight distinct layers of taxpayer protection provided under TRIA’s renewed structure.

Over 61,000 U.S. Bridges Need Structural Repair, New Analysis of U.S. Department of Transportation Data Finds

April 2, 2015 Comments off

Over 61,000 U.S. Bridges Need Structural Repair, New Analysis of U.S. Department of Transportation Data Finds
Source: American Road & Transportation Builders Association

An analysis of the recently-released 2014 U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) National Bridge Inventory database finds good news and bad news when it comes to the most heavily traveled U.S. bridges. The good news is that there are over 2,000 fewer structurally deficient structures than there were in 2013. The bad news is that it means more than 61,000 structurally deficient bridges are still in need of significant repair. And it is a problem that hits close to home.

The analysis of the federal government data, conducted by American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black, shows cars, trucks and school buses cross the nation’s 61,064 structurally compromised bridges 215 million times every day. Not surprisingly, the most heavily traveled are on the Interstate Highway System, which carries the bulk of truck traffic and passenger vehicles.

The bridge problem could get a whole lot worse soon, Black warns. The federal Highway Trust Fund (HTF) is the source of 52 percent of highway and bridge capital investments made annually by state governments. The HTF has suffered five revenue shortfalls between 2008 and 2014, and has been bailed out with nearly $65 billion in revenues from the General Fund just to preserve existing investment levels. The latest extension of federal highway and transit funding through the HTF expires on May 31, absent congressional action. Nearly a dozen states so far have canceled or delayed road and bridge projects because of the continued uncertainty over the trust fund situation. ARTBA expects that number to increase as the deadline nears.

Brewers Association: Top 50 craft and overall brewing companies in the U.S.

April 2, 2015 Comments off

Top 50 craft and overall brewing companies in the U.S.
Source: Brewers Association

The Brewers Association (BA)—the not-for-profit trade group representing small and independent craft brewers—today released its annual lists of the top 50 craft and overall brewing companies in the U.S., based on beer sales volume. Of the top 50 overall brewing companies, 42 were craft brewing companies1.

“The companies on this list include the vanguard of the craft industry,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “They are exposing new beer lovers to craft, opening new markets and creating opportunities for the entire category. As they continue to grow, so will the availability of innovative and high-quality beers produced for all to enjoy.”

See also: Brewers Association Reports Annual Growth Figures for Small and Independent Brewers

ABA Report: Farm Banks Well Positioned for 2015

March 26, 2015 Comments off

ABA Report: Farm Banks Well Positioned for 2015
Source: American Bankers Association

Farm banks significantly increased agricultural lending by 13.6 percent in 2014 and held $94.6 billion in farm loans at the end of the year, according to the American Bankers Association’s annual Farm Bank Performance Report.

Asset quality continued to improve at the nation’s 2,036 farm banks as non-performing loans declined to pre-recession levels. ABA defines farm banks as banks whose ratio of domestic farm loans to total domestic loans is greater than or equal to the industry average.

“The agricultural economy may be faced with headwinds in 2015, but farm banks are well positioned to continue serving the needs of farmers and ranchers across the country,” said Brittany Dengler, ABA senior research manager, economic policy and research. “Banks hold nearly half of all farm loans and will remain an important source of ag credit.”

See also: 10 Financial Tips for America’s Young and Beginning Farmers

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