(NEW YORK) Is the Federal Reserve considering a pullback in its interest rate hikes? Chairman Jerome Powell ’s recent observations have suggested that while the U.S. economy remains on firm footing it also faces an array of risks, including a slowing global economy and remarks from Fed Officials #AceFinanceDesk reports

#AceFinanceReport – Nov.28: Powell’s comments and similar remarks from other Fed officials have raised hopes in financial markets that the central bank may be close to slowing its rate increases, which have gradually raised borrowing costs for consumers and businesses. Any such slowdown — or pause — in its rate hikes would be welcome news for a stock market that has been battered by fears that the Fed’s continued credit tightening could end the long bull market: On Wednesday, Powell may reveal more about his thinking when he speaks to the Economic Club of New York #AceFinanceDesk reports

In an appearance earlier this month, Powell said he was generally pleased with the state of the economy, citing strong annual economic growth above 3 percent and unemployment at a near five-decade low of 3.7 percent. Those trends, he said, were coinciding with inflation remaining “right on target” at the Fed’s goal of 2 percent annual price increases.

But Powell also noted a number of looming risks, including the slowdown in global growth and the fading economic benefits of the tax cuts and government spending boost that took effect this year as well as the cumulative effect of the Fed’s own rate hikes. Many economists also worry about potential economic damage caused by President Donald Trump’s trade conflicts with China and other nations.

For his part, Trump has sought repeatedly to shift blame for any economic troubles to the Fed and its rate increases. In an interview Tuesday with the Washington Post, the president complained bluntly and at length about Powell, who was Trump’s hand-picked choice to lead the Fed.

“So far, I’m not even a little bit happy with my selection of Jay,” Trump said, using Powell’s nickname. “Not even a little bit. And I’m not blaming anybody, but I’m just telling you I think that the Fed is way off-base with what they’re doing.”

Trump argued that the Fed’s policies were damaging the economy and pointed to the recent stock market declines and General Motors’ announcement Monday that it would cut up to 14,000 workers in North America and put five plants up for possible closure.

“I’m doing deals, and I’m not being accommodated by the Fed,” Trump said. “They’re making a mistake because I have a gut, and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else’s brain can ever tell me.”

After keeping rates at a record low near zero for seven years, the Fed three years ago began gradually raising rates, including three hikes this year. Those increases have raised its benchmark rate to a still-historically-low range of 2 percent to 2.25 percent.

Higher interest rates tend to slow economic growth over time as well as pressure stock prices. For those reasons, this year’s hikes have made the Fed the target of unusual public attacks from Trump — criticism that has accelerated with the past month’s sharp declines in the stock market. Trump has complained that the Fed is threatening to undo the economic stimulus being provided by the tax cuts and that its rate hikes are unnecessary because inflation has remained relatively low.

In its most recent projections, the Fed forecast that it would raise rates in December for the fourth time this year, followed by three more hikes in 2019.

Analysts think a rate hike next month is all but certain, possibly in part because they think the Fed doesn’t want to appear to be bowing to pressure from Trump. But economists say three rate increases for next year are beginning to look less certain.

“When you see that economic growth is decelerating and financial markets are going through significant turbulence not only in the United States but globally, I think a rate pause would be a good idea,” said Sung Won Sohn, chief economist at SS Economics.

“I would not be surprised if they go with one more hike in December and then pause indefinitely to see what happens to the economy,” Sohn said.

Other Fed watchers still expect at least one or two rate increases in 2019 before the central bank pauses to observe how the economy is performing.

In a speech Tuesday, Vice Chairman Richard Clarida suggested that the Fed would continue to strive to be “data dependent” by using the latest readings on the economy “with a healthy dose of judgment and humility” to determine its interest-rate policy.

The Associated Press: @APBusiness: Investors will be listening closely to Powell for any clues to Fed’s future rate hikes. @mcrutsinger reports #AceTweetNews https://t.co/TvQBUPke8J

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(WARSAW, Poland.) Ikea is planning to open smaller stores in major cities around the world as part of a broader transformation to adapt to changing consumer habits: Next year smaller stores are also due to open in Paris and Tokyo #AceFinanceDesk reports

#AceFinanceNews – Nov.28: An airport worker drops by Warsaw’s newest Ikea store during her lunch break to finish up plans for a home refurbishment: Around her, people drift in and out of the shop, placing small houseware items in big yellow bags as cafe tables fill up with people just stopping in for lunch #AceFinanceDesk reports

The store is not one of Ikea’s out-of-the-way, maze-like warehouses that require a car to visit, but a shop like any other in a city center shopping mall: The Swedish retailing giant plans to open 30 such smaller stores in major cities around the world as part of a transformation that is costing the company financially but is needed to adapt to changing consumer habits: Compared with just a decade ago, shoppers are more likely to be living in urban areas and not have a car, and often want a nearby location to look at goods like furniture in person before ordering things online.

“I like the idea because you can come any time,” said 29-year-old Angelika Singh, the airport worker, as she finalized an order for a new kitchen. “Mostly when you go to Ikea you need to have a whole day free, or at least half a day free, because it’s far.”

Warsaw’s store is located on two floors covering nearly 5,000 square meters (54,000 square feet), about one-fourth of a traditional big-box store: Shoppers can buy cushions, curtains and other home items. They can design the layout of bedrooms and kitchens at computer stations. But those hoping to buy a bookcase or bed will not find them stocked in a large warehouse, though they can order them at kiosks and have them delivered to their homes………………..As such, it offers a very different shopping experience from the usual visit to one of the large warehouse stores.

Small stores have also opened in major cities like Madrid and London, which has a small new “planning studio” for kitchen and bedroom projects. Next year smaller stores are also due to open in Paris and Tokyo

“Ikea’s been doing pretty much the same for 70 years. It’s been a cash-and-carry company, and it still is for the majority of its sales,” said Andreas Flygare, the project manager for the Warsaw store: Now, he explained, the company must adapt to a consumer environment that has changed dramatically in the last 10 years.

“You have companies like Amazon and Uber that are raising the bar for what is expected. Because if you can have same-day delivery, or an Uber is two minutes away, it influences other companies, like Ikea,” he said in a recent interview in the store’s cafe. “It can be a quite tough environment. Everything is changing so fast.”

The company, whose founder Ingvar Kamprad died in January, has seen business growth slow in recent years: But updating its business model to reinvigorate sales is not coming cheap. On Wednesday, it reported that its operating profit for the full year through August had dropped 26 percent to 2.25 billion euros ($2.55 billion) as it increased spending on the new stores as well as delivery services and its online offerings.

Thomas Slide, senior retail analyst at the market research firm Mintel, described Ikea’s new approach as a rational response to a “global trend towards urban living and a rebirth of the cities.”………………….“While Ikea used to be able to build its big blue warehouses on the edge of towns and cities and expect shoppers to come to them, now it has recognised it needs to be more flexible in its approach and take the Ikea experience to them, through digital channels and smaller stores closer to where people live and work,” Slide said.

Ikea isn’t the first to embrace such an approach: In the U.S., retailer Target has rolled out smaller stores to broaden its reach. French hardware store Leroy Merlin has done the same, as have Kingfisher-owned DIY store B&Q and sofa retailer DFS in Britain………..“While Ikea may not be on the cutting edge of this trend, it’s an important strategy to prepare the business for the future,” Slide said. “The challenge will be adding extra services through additional channels while also maintaining profitability.”

Chen Yu Ting, a 25-year-old from Taiwan who studies medicine in Warsaw, said it used to take him 40 minutes by bus to visit one of the large Ikea stores outside the city: But he is a short walk to the new store, and after an initial trip to buy pillows and bed sheets he now returns often for lunch, which is priced right for his budget……….“It’s more convenient, and now I just come here to eat,” he said………………His only complaint? The store doesn’t stock frozen meatballs.


Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark, contributed to this report: The Associated Press.@APBusiness: Ikea is planning to open smaller stores in major cities around the world as part of a broader transformation to adapt to changing consumer habits. #AceTweetNews https://t.co/MtnmaE3SzN Published: November.28: 2018:

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JUST IN: Trumps #MAGA Economy ADDS a strong 201,000 jobs in August, and the unemployment rate remained near historical lows at 3.9% Ave earnings GREW 2.9% in the strongest rate since 2009 #AceFinanceDesk reports

#AceFinanceReport – Sept.07: The unemployment rate stayed at 3.9%, near historical lows, the Labor Department reported #AceNewsDesk reports

Average hourly earnings grew 2.9% compared with a year ago, the strongest rate since 2009. That number is not adjusted for inflation, which has been rising in recent months and eating into workers’ paychecks. And it’s lower than wage growth rates in previous economic expansions……………………..Still, the wage growth figure may be held down by larger numbers of young people entering the workforce at lower pay scales. Other measures of wage growth, such as the total cost for employers, have been rising more quickly.

“We don’t think it’s a fluke,” said Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab. “We think we are at that stage where the labor market has gotten so tight that you’re going to see upward pressure on wages.”

The job gains for August were roughly in line with the average for the last 12 months, which is196,000: Employment growth was revised down by a total of 50,000 over June and July, making the last three months look more like a slowdown as trade tensions loomed. August is also commonly revised, meaning that this month’s number will likely change as well. …………………………August’s job gains were driven by professional and business services as well as health care and wholesale trade. Manufacturing shed 3,000 jobs, the sector’s first monthly decline since July 2017, although manufacturers have still added 254,000 jobs over the year………………The economy has been on a roll lately, with employers reporting difficulty finding enough workers to fill their open positions. The number of job openings has exceeded the number of unemployed people since March.

CNNMoney (New York) First published September 7, 2018: 12:01 AM ET: https://cnnmon.ie/2Nm0ykF pic.twitter.com/FcueJ9rBcE

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(WASHINGTON) In latest the US unveiled a list of roughly $16 billion worth of imports from China that will be hit with 25% tariffs, in the the latest escalation in the trade war between the two countries which will take effect from Aug.23: As the markets Dow closes up 127 points, S&P 500 and Nasdaq up 0.3% apiece #AceFinanceDesk reports

#AceFinanceReport – Aug.08: Editor says but the markets reacted positively Dow closes up 127 points, S&P 500 and Nasdaq up 0.3% apiece. Tesla soars 11% after Elon Musk says he wants to take the company private. https://cnnmon.ie/2ARtM5G to the news: The Trump administration on Tuesday unveiled a list of roughly $16 billion worth of imports from China that will be hit with 25% tariffs: The move marks the latest escalation of a trade war between the world’s two largest economies………………….The tariffs on 279 products, including motorcycles, speedometers and antennas, will take effect August 23 #AceFinanceDesk reports

It is the second time the US has slapped tariffs on Chinese goods, despite persistent warnings by American businesses it will raise the price of goods for consumers: The Trump administrationhas accused China of unfair trade practices and President Donald Trump has long vowed to bring down the United States’ trade deficit in goods with Beijing.

In July, the administration imposed 25% tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports. Beijing, accusing the United States of trade bullying, has retaliated by imposing tariffs on an equal measure of American goods.

So far, financial markets have shrugged off the first round of trade duties

Talks between Washington and Beijing are at an impasse in the ongoing trade spat, with both sides continuing to threaten new tariffs. Over the weekend, Trump told a rally he holds the advantage over China, adding playing hardball on trade is “my thing.”

Trump directed the Office of Trade Representativeearlier this month to considerimposing a 25% tariff on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, including fruit and vegetables, handbags, and refrigerators.

China has threatened to retaliate on any additional US tariffs tit-for-tat

The Chinese government has said it would impose duties as high as 25% on American products like meat, coffee, nuts and auto parts.

“In violation of the bilateral consensus reached after multiple rounds of negotiations, the United States has again unilaterally escalated trade frictions,” the Chinese State Council Tariff Commission said in a statement last Friday.

The United States and China trade goods and services worth about $650 billion each year, the largest trading relationship in the world between two countries: https://cnn.it/2M6fkLA pic.twitter.com/oBzvZoV5rI

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MARKETS: Trade War: U.S. Stocks opened flat Friday morning after US unemployment fell to 3.9% in July, the American economy added 157,000 jobs and China announced plans to impose tariffs on $60 billion worth of US imports listing 5,207 products with duties as high as 25% if Trump applies his to $200-billion of Chinese goods #AceFinanceDesk reports

#AceFinanceReport – Aug.03: China has announced plans to put up tariffs on products worth $60-billion Chinese government said Friday that it would impose duties of 25%, 20%, 10% and 5% on the products if the Trump administration follows through on threats to tax $200 billion of Chinese goods #AceFinanceDesk reports

In violation of the bilateral consensus reached after multiple rounds of negotiations, the United States has again unilaterally escalated trade frictions,” the Chinese State Council Tariff Commission said in its statement on Friday:

China listed 5,207 US products that it would target in an effort to “safeguard its own legitimate interests.” ………………….Products in line for tariffs include meat, coffee, nuts, alcoholic drinks, minerals, chemicals, leather products, wood products, machinery, furniture and auto parts…………….Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, said in a statement that “instead of retaliating, China should address the longstanding concerns about its unfair trading practices.” …………………The United States and China trade goods and services worth about $650 billion each year, the largest trading relationship in the world between two countries #AceFinanceDesk reports

But China exports far more to the United States than the other way round, making it more challenging for the country to hit back against US tariffs………….These new tariffs would affect about 38% of all American exports to China, which are worth about $170 billion in total………………..Trade tensions between the United States and China have been on the rise since April 2017, when President Donald Trump directed the US Commerce Department to investigate whether imports of steel and aluminum from China and other countries threatened national security……………..The investigation resulted in tariffs on steel and aluminum products from China and many other countries in March. Beijing responded with equal measures.

Then, in July, the United States imposed tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods to pressure the country into abandoning what the Trump administration describes as unfair practices such as stealing intellectual property. Beijing again responded with penalties of an equal scale, targeting American products such as motorcycles and communications satellites……………………..The most recent threat from the Trump administration came this week, when it warned that it could impose steeper tariffs than originally planned on another batch of imports from China. The White House had previously asked the Office of the United States Trade Representative about the possibility of imposing a 10% tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. Under the new plan, tariffs of 25% would be applied.

Protectionist moves by the United States have drawn a response from other trading major partners. Canada, Mexico and the European Union have responded to US taxes on steel and aluminum with retaliatory tariffs.

– Kaitlan Collins contributed reporting.

CNNMoney (London) First published August 3, 2018: 9:03 AM ET

BREAKING: China has announced plans to put tariffs of up to 25% on US products worth $60 billion https://cnnmon.ie/2Koa692 pic.twitter.com/3T7YD1Tnsa – Watch live https://cnnmon.ie/2AB3MLL

#AceRelatedNews

The making of a global trade war

A brief history of the US-China trade war

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(SEOUL, S.K.) JUST IN: Samsung said on Monday its opening the ‘ Worlds Largest Mobile Phone Factory ‘ in India according to a report #AceFinanceDesk reports

#AceFinanceReport – July.09: Samsung said on Monday that it is opening what it said is the world’s biggest mobile phone manufacturing facility as the South Korean giant seeks to expand production in the world’s fastest growing mobile phone market from a report #AceFinanceDesk reports

The new Samsung factory will have the capacity of 120 million smartphones per year, and make everything from low-end smartphones that cost under $100 to its flagship S9 model, according to the company: Earlier this year, China’s Xiaomi displaced Samsung from the No. 1 smartphone spot in the country, breaking its long-held dominance. Indians favor low-end smartphones priced at $250 or less, given the low average annual income of its people, according to Bloomberg Intelligence……………………That’s one reason why Apple has struggled to gain market share in India, with most iPhone models priced beyond $500, according to a Bloomberg Intelligence report earlier this month:

World’s Largest Mobile Phone Factory Set To Open in India
Published on July 09, 2018 at 07:20AM: Source: BM

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JUST IN: (MOSCOW) Putin signs ‘ Counter-Sanctions-Bill ‘ in response to US and it will be applied to any ‘ Hostile Actions ‘ against Russia #AceFinanceDesk reports

#AFNews – 05/05/18: Putin signs US counter-sanctions bill: Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a counter-sanctions bill in response to the US’ latest sanctions against the country #AceFinanceDesk reports

The Monday signed legislation will be applied to any state or person for “hostile actions” against Russia and permits authorities to halt international cooperation with foreign states, and to impose import and export restrictions and other measures: The new measures, designed to safeguard “economic interests and security,” was drafted by State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin and the heads of all four parliamentary caucuses in mid-April and approved by Russian lawmakers by the end of May: http://ptv.io/2ad4

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(DELHI, India.) India decided to proceed with the long-anticipated $5.5 bln deal to purchase Russia’ s S-400 surface-to-air missile units despite the US saying the purchase may affect the relations between Washington and New Dehli over Russian sanctions #AceFinanceDesk reports

#AceFinanceReport – June.02: According to the Hindustan Times, India’s Defense Ministry is to ask the apex Cabinet Committee to approve the purchase of the five S-400 Triumf systems, thus finalising the agreement: The deal is set to go through despite the fact that the Trump administration warning New Delhi of the possible ramifications of India’s intention to cultivate military ties with Russia, that would imminently jeopardise its relations with the US #AceFinanceDesk reports
India to buy Russian S-400 systems despite Washington’s warnings - report

Chairman of the U.S. Arms Service Committee Mac Thornberry has said that “the acquisition of this technology will limit, the degree with which the United States will feel comfortable in bringing additional technology into whatever country we are talking about.”

In case the purchase officially goes through, the Trump administration’s reaction might go as far as punishing India for violating the sanctions imposed against Russia.

Forced to choose between Russia and the US, New Delhi highlighted the need for a strong air defense given the fact the neighbouring China and Pakistan have already obtained advanced aerial capabilities.

India’s decision to rely on the Russian-made S-400 systems that have drawn a lot of interest from international buyers, could jeopardize sales of US-built Predator drones and Patriot missile defense systems. Though the US has been talking up the effectiveness of Patriots, the missile has reportedly been less than effective when used recently by Saudi Arabia.

According to NATO classification, S-400 Triumf is Russia’s most advanced air defense hardware, boasting unique and unparalleled capabilities. Capable of firing three types of missiles create a layered defense, the S-400 integrates a multifunction radar, autonomous detection and targeting systems, missile launchers and command posts. It can bring down aircrafts as well as missiles at the range of up to 400km.

With Russia being India’s largest arms supplier, Moscow accounted for 62 percent of arms sales to New Delhi over the past five years, according to the Stockholm International Peace Institute.

India is not the only country that has been experiencing tough pressuring from Washington. The US has been very explicit in its criticism of its “strategic partner”, Turkey and its deal with Russia to purchase the S-400 systems.

According to State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, Washington is seriously concerned about the fact Turkey as a NATO member would choose to purchase weapons not made in the US. In a bid to pressure Ankara, Assistant US Secretary Wess Mitchell said that unless Turkey backed out, the purchase “could lead to sanctions.”

Testifying before the House Foreign Relations committee last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US was making efforts to “keep the Turks in a place where they will never acquire the S-400.”

Moreover, US lawmakers introduced a bill which would virtually ban F-35 deliveries to Turkey to punish it for its increased “hostility.” The US has also criticized Ankara over the announcement it would look elsewhere in case Washington failed to deliver the F-35s.

RT: India to buy Russian S-400 systems despite Washington’s warnings – report https://t.co/b56ouna9Gxhttps://t.co/l1xOteWiAO

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MARKETS REPORT: Wall Street reacts as Italian & Spanish crisis begins to bite and Trump announces $50-billion in China tariffs on Tuesday on ‘ goods and investments in US tech industries ‘ as fears rise of another ‘ financial crisis ‘ looming with some major players considering decampment to higher ground #AceFinanceDesk reports

#AceFinanceReport – May.29: The Dow falls more than 400 points as investors fear US-China trade tensions and Italy’s political crisis https://cnnmon.ie/2J1ldor after earlier at opening at 200 points, or 0.8%, down as political chaos in global markets. S&P 500 falls 0.7%. Energy stocks dip as oil loses 1% on concerns about OPEC and Russia pumping more: Also on Tuesday, the White House said the administration would proceed with its proposal to impose 25% tariffs on $50 billion worth of goods from China, and place new limits on Chinese investments in US high-tech industries #AceFinanceDesk reports

The decision comes after top administration officials have tried to dampen fears of a trade war: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said a trade war with China was “on hold” less than 10 days ago. And Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is expected in Beijing on Saturday to help ease trade tensions between the two major trading partners:

Beijing has previously pledged to retaliate against the 25 percent tariffs.

In a brief statement, the White House said the president plans to take “multiple steps” to protect domestic technology and intellectual property from certain “discriminatory and burdensome trade practices by China.”

The latest step follows a March report by the US Trade Representative Office, which undertook a seven-month investigation of China’s handling of technology transfers and intellectual property, according to the White House’s statement.

“The United States will implement specific investment restrictions and enhanced export controls for Chinese persons and entities related to the acquisition of industrially significant technology, the White House said in a statement.

The final list of covered imports subject to tariffs will be announced by June 15. Those tariffs will take effect “shortly thereafter.”

Proposed investment restrictions will be announced by June 30 and also take effect at a later date.

CNNMoney (New York) First published May 29, 2018: 9:16 AM ET: Last week, the administration said it would negotiate to avoid a trade war. https://cnnmon.ie/2JdDWAFpic.twitter.com/n6HO0St8r4: Breaking144 Just tweeted ********************************************** Wall Street futures fall as Italy, Spain worries turn investors risk averse https://t.co/BhsyrvlrSRhttps://t.co/fczlCQEW8x:https://t.me/SterlingPublishingPanel/158920 #AceFinanceNews

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(WASHINGTON) According to a ‘ Congressional Report ‘ released Monday ‘ tax break ‘ for mortgage interest disappearing for half of those who claimed it and only 13.8-million will be able to claim the ‘ mortgage interest deduction ‘ in 2018 down from more than 32.3-million in 2017: Here’s the chart on how it affects you #AceFinanceDesk reports

#AceFinanceReport – Apr.24: The number of homeowners who will benefit from the mortgage tax break is expected to plummet this year by more than half, according to a congressional report released on Monday: About 13.8 million taxpayers will be able to claim the mortgage-interest deduction in 2018, down from more 32.3 million in 2017, estimates from the Joint Committee on Taxation show……………That’s about a 57 percent drop #AceFinanceDesk reports

Tax returns using mortgage interest deduction

Income 2017 tax returns 2018 tax returns
less than $10,000 under 500 under 500
$10,000-$20,000 105,000 42,000
$20,000-$30,000 244,000 73,000
$30,000-$40,000 540,000 143,000
$40,000-$50,000 961,000 281,000
$50,000-$75,000 3,967,000 1,343,000
$75,000-$100,000 4,563,000 1,826,000
$100,000-$200,000 14,227,000 5,402,000
$200,000-$500,000 6,575,000 3,681,000
$500,000-$1 million 797,000 657,000
$1 million and over 328,000 314,000

Source: Joint Committee on Taxation estimates

Already, the deduction was not used by most taxpayers. Of the 150 million or so tax returns the IRS has received annually in recent years, just 20 percent claimed the deduction, according to research from the Urban Brookings Tax Policy Center:

The anticipated drop is largely due to the near-doubling of the standard deduction that took effect Jan. 1 under the new tax law. Fewer taxpayers are expected to itemize their deductions, which is the only way to take advantage of the tax break for interest paid on mortgages.The new report estimates that 18 million households will itemize deductions this year, down from 46.5 million last year:

Taxpayers would need deductions worth more than the standard deduction for itemizing to make financial sense. And with few deductions left for taxpayers to turn to, that threshold will be a harder hurdle to clear.

For example, married couples filing jointly now get a standard deduction of $24,000, up from $12,700 last year. That amount for single filers is $12,000, up from $6,350. For heads of households, it’s now $18,000, up from $9,350. In combination with raising those amounts, the new tax eliminated personal exemptions: Tax break for mortgage interest disappearing for half of those who claimed it https://t.co/KE71rXsqTH— CNBC (@CNBC) April 24, 2018: https://t.me/acebreakingnews/679338 #AceFinanceNews

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