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  • Writer's pictureStephen H Akin

Sales Tax Holiday!

Computer, Printers, School Supplies. Clothing Shoes and Certain bed and bath items.

Akin Investments reminds parents and grandparents to take advange of the up comming "Back to School" tax holidays.

In Mississippi: The 2024 Sales Tax Holiday takes place between 12:01 A.M. Friday, July 12, 2024 and 12:00 Midnight Sunday , July 14, 2024.

South Carolina Department of Revenue (SCDOR) reminds shoppers that computers, clothes, school supplies, and a variety of other school-year essentials can be purchased without paying Sales Tax during South Carolina's annual 72-hour Tax Free Weekend, starting August 2.

"As inflation continues to drain many wallets, this year's Tax Free Weekend offers some relief for weary families," said SCDOR Director Hartley Powell. “Every shopper saves money during this tax holiday, particularly on back-to-school essentials."​

South Carolina Full Details download here:

Download PDF • 192KB

Mississippi Full Details download here:

2024 Sales Tax Holiday
Download PDF • 312KB


Federal Resereve Chairman Powell on the hIll:

Chairman Brown, Ranking Member Scott, and other members of the Committee, I appreciate the opportunity to present the Federal Reserve's semiannual Monetary Policy Report.

The Federal Reserve remains squarely focused on our dual mandate to promote maximum employment and stable prices for the benefit of the American people. Over the past two years, the economy has made considerable progress toward the Federal Reserve's 2 percent inflation goal, and labor market conditions have cooled while remaining strong. Reflecting these developments, the risks to achieving our employment and inflation goals are coming into better balance.

I will review the current economic situation before turning to monetary policy.

Current Economic Situation and Outlook

Recent indicators suggest that the U.S. economy continues to expand at a solid pace. Gross domestic product growth appears to have moderated in the first half of this year following impressive strength in the second half of last year. Private domestic demand remains robust, however, with slower but still-solid increases in consumer spending. We have also seen moderate growth in capital spending and a pickup in residential investment so far this year. Improving supply conditions have supported resilient demand and the strong performance of the U.S. economy over the past year.

In the labor market, a broad set of indicators suggests that conditions have returned to about where they stood on the eve of the pandemic: strong, but not overheated. The unemployment rate has moved higher but was still at a low level of 4.1 percent in June. Payroll job gains averaged 222,000 jobs per month in the first half of the year. Strong job creation over the past couple of years has been accompanied by an increase in the supply of workers, reflecting increases in labor force participation among individuals aged 25 to 54 and a strong pace of immigration. As a result, the jobs-to-workers gap is well down from its peak and now stands just a bit above its 2019 level. Nominal wage growth has eased over the past year. The strong labor market has helped narrow long-standing disparities in employment and earnings across demographic groups.

Inflation has eased notably over the past couple of years but remains above the Committee's longer-run goal of 2 percent. Total personal consumption expenditures (PCE) prices rose 2.6 percent over the 12 months ending in May. Core PCE prices, which exclude the volatile food and energy categories, also increased 2.6 percent. After a lack of progress toward our 2 percent inflation objective in the early part of this year, the most recent monthly readings have shown modest further progress. Longer-term inflation expectations appear to remain well anchored, as reflected in a broad range of surveys of households, businesses, and forecasters, as well as measures from financial markets.

Monetary Policy

Our monetary policy actions are guided by our dual mandate to promote maximum employment and stable prices for the American people. In support of these goals, the Committee has maintained the target range for the federal funds rate at 5-1/4 to 5-1/2 percent since last July, after having tightened the stance of monetary policy significantly over the previous year and a half. We have also continued to reduce our securities holdings. At our May meeting, we decided to slow the pace of balance sheet runoff starting in June, consistent with the plans released previously. Our restrictive monetary policy stance is helping to bring demand and supply conditions into better balance and to put downward pressure on inflation.

The Committee has stated that we do not expect it will be appropriate to reduce the target range for the federal funds rate until we have gained greater confidence that inflation is moving sustainably toward 2 percent. Incoming data for the first quarter of this year did not support such greater confidence. The most recent inflation readings, however, have shown some modest further progress, and more good data would strengthen our confidence that inflation is moving sustainably toward 2 percent.

We continue to make decisions meeting by meeting. We know that reducing policy restraint too soon or too much could stall or even reverse the progress we have seen on inflation. At the same time, in light of the progress made both in lowering inflation and in cooling the labor market over the past two years, elevated inflation is not the only risk we face. Reducing policy restraint too late or too little could unduly weaken economic activity and employment. In considering adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate, the Committee will continue its practice of carefully assessing incoming data and their implications for the evolving outlook, the balance of risks, and the appropriate path of monetary policy.

Congress has entrusted the Federal Reserve with the operational independence that is needed to take a longer-term perspective in the pursuit of our dual mandate of maximum employment and stable prices. We remain committed to bringing inflation back down to our 2 percent goal and to keeping longer-term inflation expectations well anchored. Restoring price stability is essential to achieving maximum employment and stable prices over the long run. Our success in delivering on these goals matters to all Americans.

Let me conclude by emphasizing that we understand that our actions affect communities, families, and businesses across the country. Everything we do is in service to our public mission.

Thank you. I am happy to take your questions.


Testimony of Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen Before the Committee on Financial Services, U.S. House of Representatives

July 9, 2024

As Prepared for Delivery 

Chairman McHenry, Ranking Member Waters, and Members of the Committee: Thank you for the invitation to testify in my capacity as Chair of the National Advisory Council on International Monetary and Financial Policies.

The United States built the international financial institutions 80 years ago with our allies and partners. Today, U.S. leadership at them is essential to our national and economic security.

We work through the multilateral development banks to fight poverty and drive sustainable and inclusive growth, strengthening developing and emerging markets that are key trade and investment partners for the United States and addressing global challenges such as climate change, pandemics, and conflict and fragility that threaten to undermine global economic growth. The International Monetary Fund provides crucial support to countries to help resolve debt problems, minimize negative spillovers to the global economy, strengthen governance, and restore growth.

These institutions’ strong balance sheets make U.S. contributions to them safe and highly cost-effective. They crowd in support from other partners, and the United States works as the largest or near largest shareholder in all of them to make sure they use their funds well.

These institutions are also the only realistic option for the United States to offer high-quality and transparent development financing at the scale needed to be a U.S.-led value proposition that competes with China’s. We must show leadership and contribute strong financial support as it has only become more important to provide credible alternatives to lending options that can be opaque and coercive, potentially undermining borrower countries’ sovereignty and long-term economic sustainability.

Over the past year, we continued to push for evolution at the MDBs so that they are efficient, effective, and can better help countries address global challenges. Congress enabled a $250 million contribution to the World Bank’s IDA Crisis Response Window, demonstrating U.S. commitment to providing a critical lifeline for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries. We made the largest pledge to the replenishment of the International Fund for

Agriculture and Development, a strong partner in increasing food security. We also helped lead successful negotiations around capital increases and important reforms for IDB Invest, the private sector arm of the Inter-American Development Bank and a key partner in Latin America and the Caribbean, and for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to enhance its lending capacity, including for continued support of Ukraine.

We now ask that Congress authorize our participation in these capital increases and in the African Development Bank’s callable capital increase so that it can continue to lend at current levels to countries that would otherwise be forced to look elsewhere. The President’s Budget also requests $1 billion that would enable up to $36 billion in new lending capacity at the World Bank, as we continue to press international partners to join us in efforts that could expand lending headroom by $100 billion.

At the IMF, I thank Congress for authorizing lending $21 billion to the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust, making us the largest contributor and further showcasing our strong commitment to supporting low-income countries. We also led successful negotiations on the 16th general quota review so that the IMF is adequately resourced to continue to play its crucial role at the center of the global financial safety net and to preserve our quota share and veto, solidifying U.S. influence at this vital institution. We request authorization to increase the U.S. quota to cement this significant achievement.

Let me now take your questions.

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