In Journalism, Three Is a Trend

The following are three examples of a slowing economy.

In a call this week a CEO said he had budgeted 5% share growth and 3.5% loan growth for 2023.  For the first quarter  share growth is negative; loans increasing slightly.

The following is a message from the Vestry of a local church about their budget challenge

On March 14, the Vestry passed an Interim Budget of $1,540,665. We call this an “Interim” budget because it falls short of the money needed to run St. John’s in 2023.

Why is that? First of all, our expenses have increased significantly since 2022. Inflation has driven up many of our operating and building expenses. And we are now better staffed on both the programmatic and operational side – a result of intentional decisions to support the functioning of our vital ministries – which has increased our personnel costs.

Second, while the average pledge has increased for the past two years, we have seen the number of pledges drop by more than 10 percent in the same time frame.  In other words, while the average dollar amount of pledges has increased, the number of people/households making those pledges has decreased.

Our financial situation is further hindered as the church ended 2022 with a deficit, due primarily to unrealized pledges. Without a course correction, this does not bode well for St. John’s in the long run and in the short term it has left us with a critical “gap” between anticipated pledge income and church expenses for 2023. 

The “gap” is a minimum of $250,000 at this time.

At Disney: Recently reinstated CEO Bob Iger announced plans for 7,000 layoffs that will take place in three “waves.”

Federal Student Loan Payments to Restart

Sometime in June, the Supreme court will announce its decision whether President Biden has the legal authority to forgive up to $400 million of the approximately $1.8 trillion outstanding federal student loan debt.

Whatever the decision, the three-year payment moratorium on payments and interest accruals begun during the Covid lockdown, will expire.

Regardless of the legal outcome on Biden’s debt cancellation proposal, millions of borrowers will find their monthly income reduced by payments that must now be made.


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