“We are concerned that these chicken producers have yet to receive federal assistance since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic,” lawmakers said in a letter citing the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). “We recognize that it is difficult to determine how to fairly calculate losses and benefits given the differences in the timing of when producers receive and finish raising their herd. However, we urge you to act quickly and make fair payments. ”
The USDA previously indicated that aid is coming in, but said it should make a rulemaking effort to channel the funds.
Sensors Chris Koons, Democrat, and Roger Wicker, Republican, Mrs., and representatives Steve Womack, Republic of Arctic, and John Rose, Republic of Tennessee, were key signers to the letter.
Washington Insider: Consumer Debt Rising
The use of consumer credit expanded again in April, according to the Federal Reserve, signifying a rise in consumer debt in the third month.
The $ 18.6 billion increase in April was mainly driven by an increase in consumer use of auto loans and student loans, largely in line with the $ 18.6 billion increase in March.
Car loans and student loans are considered non-revolving loans by the Fed, and are increased by $ 20.6 billion according to the April update. And it was a notable increase as it was the largest since June 2020, when it increased by $ 22.7 billion.
But an area that could be of concern is in an area called revolving credit. This is where things like credit cards and store cards are classified. Consumers keep plastic in their pockets again as revolving credit levels fell by $ 2 billion in April.
This is an ongoing trend that has been observed since the pandemic last year. In fact, revolving credit is down about 12.2% from a peak in February 2020.
Since February 2020, consumers have only increased their revolving credit by three months. This has resulted in much greater savings for consumers as they seem to be “scared” by the pandemic and likely job losses, etc.
It’s kind of a double-edged sword. On the positive side, it signals that consumers have paid off their debts versus high interest rate credit cards since the start of the pandemic. This is a plus. And with more money in the bank, they are in a more stable position.
But the downside to lesser use of credit cards is that consumers don’t use plastic to make large purchases. Often, consumers choose to use credit cards to make large purchases and then pay with them over time.
The Associated Press quoted Nancy Vanden Houten, a senior economist at Oxford Economics, as saying that consumers are still reluctant to use their credit cards as instead they used stimulus dollars, which appear to be increasing their spending. But she expects that to change.
“We expect consumer credit growth to pick up in the second half of 2021 as consumers shake off their credit cards and reopening and health improvements drive higher spending,” Vanden Houten said.
Strong growth in student loans and auto loans helped bring total consumer loans to $ 4.24 trillion in April, up 0.4% from the $ 4.22 trillion mark set in February 2020.
Housing situation can be another important factor. Consumers are discovering that the housing market is heating up and is firmly in the sellers’ market. When a property enters the market, several bids are made to buy houses. And usually it doesn’t last long.
In addition, these homes are being sold at increasingly high prices, which may discourage consumers from ditching their credit cards for routine purchases.
And the lack of travel is another factor contributing to this. Without booking flights, hotels and car rentals, this is a key way most consumers use credit cards.
So let’s see. Consumers are in better shape compared to their credit cards, even as overall consumer debt has returned to pre-pandemic levels. At some point, they will start using these credit cards again, and this will lead to further growth in consumer demand, helping to keep the economy moving forward, and this situation needs to be closely monitored, according to Washington Insider.
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