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U.S. GDP grows less than expected

Category: News and Notes- fhuff- 9:04 am/ July 29, 2011

U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) rose at an annual rate of 1.3 percent in the second quarter of 2011, which was less than expected, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. First-quarter GDP also was revised to 0.4 percent from earlier estimates of 1.9 percent. The revised figure indicates the economy isn’t recovering as much as previously thought.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said in a statement:

Today’s first look at GDP in the second quarter confirms what we already knew: The economy isn’t growing as fast as it needs to. And every day that we fail to act to lift the debt ceiling and inch closer to default, we threaten our economic progress and job creation. Experts have repeatedly warned that if this uncertainty continues, our economy will pay the price. We can’t afford to return to the same failed policies that brought us here. We must build on the progress we’ve made over the last two years and reach a balanced compromise that will reduce our debt and at the same time strengthen our job-creating ability and global competitiveness for the future.

Also, as consumers remain cautious about spending in this economy, the personal savings rate has risen. The personal savings rate was 5.1 percent in the second quarter, up from 4.9 percent in the first period.

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If you live in Oklahoma, the First National Bank of Pawnee has competitive CD rates. The bank does not accept out of state deposits to open a certificate of deposit. CD rates available as of July 27, include:

  • 0.5 percent annual percentage yield (APY) for 91-day single maturity
  • 1 percent APY for 182-day
  • 1.21 percent APY for 1 year
  • 1.31 percent APY for 18 months
  • 1.51 percent APY for 2 years
  • 2.02 percent APY for 3 years
  • 2.17 percent APY for 4 years

All of the CD rates are for single maturity and auto-renewable CDs, except for the 91 day CD. The 91- and 182-day CDs require a minimum opening deposit of $2,500.

For other certificates of deposit, the minimum opening deposit is $1,000. You can elect to have interest paid by check, checking deposit, savings deposit or added onto the CD. Early withdrawal penalties include 3 months’ interest for 1-year CDs and 6 months’ interest fo 2, 3, and 4-year CDs. The penalty for early withdrawal of a 91-day certificate of deposit is 91 days interest and 3 months’ interest for a 182-day CD. Deposits at First National Bank of Pawnee are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

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Urban Partnership Bank has a savings rate of 1.05 percent annual percentage yield (APY) for balances of $100,000 and up. Balances below $100,000 earn a savings rate of 1 percent APY for the online savings account. Details of the bank deal include:

  • $1 minimum monthly deposit
  • No monthly fees
  • No fees for transfers to and from other banks
  • 24-hour online banking
  • Limit of six bank-to-bank funds transfers each month
  • Direct deposit is available
  • Electronic statements
  • Insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC)

The bank also has competitive CD rates for various terms. Currently, the bank has CD rates for deposits under $100,000 of 1.16 percent APY for 18 months, 1.46 percent APY for 30 months and 2.42 percent APY for 60 months. Deposits over $100,000 can earn CD rates of 1.31 percent APY for 2 years, 1.71 percent APY for 3 years and 2.52 percent APY for 5 years. Other rates and terms are available, including jumbo CD rates. To open a certificate of deposit you need a minimum of $1,000.

Urban Partnership Bank is a full-service, certified community development financial institution that was established in August 2010. It serves individuals and organizations in distressed communities in Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit.

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Metcalf Bank is offering a $100 cash bonus for opening up a checking account. The bank is offering the promotion through Aug. 31, 2011. Open a MyChoice checking account and get $50. Open a SaveUp savings account at the same time and get another $50. And when you set up a monthly automatic transfer between the two accounts the bank will double the interest.

The checking account offers free mobile banking and refunds of other banks’ ATM fees. It also offers six months of free identity protection and a free CheckPlus Debit MasterCard. You’ll also receive free estatements, email and text alerts. The $3 monthly fee on the account is waived for meeting certain requirements during each monthly statement cycle.

Other details of the bank’s offer include:

  • Minimum balance of $250 to receive the incentive for the SaveUp Savings
  • SaveUp Savings has a 0.5 percent annual percentage yield (APY)
  • Savings rate falls to 0.25 percent if automatic transfer requirement is not met
  • Savings rate is subject to change after opening account
  • Fees may reduce earnings
  • Fee may be imposed for closing account within first 120 days

Metcalf Bank is based in Lee’s Summit, Mo., and is a leading financial service provider in the state.

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Open a Sovereign Bank checking account package by July 31, 2011, and you could earn a cash bonus. To earn a cash bonus you must make five debit card purchases by Sept. 5, 2011.

Banking packages that are eligible for the cash bonus are the Premier, Preferred and Classic accounts. All three banking packages require you to:

  • Deposit a minimum of $25 to open a checking account
  • Deposit a minimum of $10 to open a savings account
  • Enroll in online banking
  • Request a MasterCard debit card when opening an account

Once you complete the requirements for the cash bonus, the money will be credited to the checking account by Oct. 15, 2011. Premier checking packages receive a bonus of $100, Preferred packages receive $75 and Classic banking packages receive $50.

The Premier Checking Account is an interest-bearing account. It has no monthly fee if you have a combined balance of at least $15,000 on checking, savings, money market, CDs, IRA and loans. That minimum balance will rise to $20,000 Sept. 1, 2011. The Preferred Checking Account also earns interest. There is no monthly fee on this account with direct deposit or qualifying balances. The Classic Checking Account has a low balance requirement and no monthly fee with an average daily balance of $500.

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