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Biz Flashes: Mortgages / Jobs / Bread / Fish

January 29,2015

You got to love mortgage rates,down to a year-long low at 3.60% according to Mortgage News Daily (see chart). Should improve the pace of home sales.

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Bloomberg reports that” the fewest Americans in almost 15 years filed applications for unemployment benefits during a holiday-shortened week that typically makes the data more volatile.
Jobless claims plunged by 43,000 to 265,000 in the week ended Jan. 24, the lowest since April 2000, a Labor Department report showed Thursday in Washington. The median forecast of 51 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 300,000.”

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 7.38.20 AMFresno Bee reports that Mexican owned Bimbo Bakery will be laying off 92 employees in Fresno after a similar layoff last summer as the company consolidates  baking to Sacramento. The closure comes as Americans continue to eat  less grain products  grain products including white bread. In a survey last year 56% said they were cutting back on white bread and 28% said they were cutting back on all breads. But corn consumption is up.Tortillas now outsell many American staples, including spaghetti/macaroni/pasta, hamburgers and hot dog buns, all other fresh rolls,croissants and bagels.

US Approves  An Increase In Take Levels For Smelt: Following a request submitted by the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) approved an increase in the “take levels” for Delta smelt in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta.  The unexpected decision implements a modified, interim version of the Reasonable and Prudent Alternative of the 2008 USFWS Biological Opinion (BO) for operation of the Central Valley Project’s (CVP) pumps.  The modified BO will increase the incidental Delta smelt take limit from 78 to 196.  This decision, however, does not apply to biological opinions on salmon in the Delta.

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