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In Early 2009, I said Gold Prices Likely to Hit US$1,, this has Come True... Print E-mail

In early 2009, when Gold Prices was only about US$800, I mentioned that Gold prices are likely to re-test US$1,000 because of concerns about future inflation. I wrote "Gold Prices might hit record high".


Now, this has already happened. Below is comments from one website on 19 Sep 2009.




Dennis Ng,


The declining dollar, central bank purchases, the de-hedging by gold producers and rising inflation expectations served as catalysts for gold bullion’s strength, causing the yellow metal to close above the $1,000 level for the sixth consecutive day on Friday. While gold’s move grabbed the headlines, platinum (+42.5%) and silver (+50.5%) have actually outperformed gold (+13.9%) significantly since the start of the year.




The past week’s performance of the major asset classes is summarized by the chart below - a set of numbers that indicates an increase in risk appetite.




Gold prices might hit New Record High

With countries all over the world pumping money into their economies, this will lead to currencies losing its value, and with the world in turbulence, more and more people would start to switch some of their money into Gold, as Gold is a safe haven especially in times when currencies take a tumble.

In recent months, oil prices have crashed by 70% from US$148 to about US$44. On the other hand, Gold prices stood firm above US$800 despite the fall in oil prices. Year 2009 might see Gold prices rising above US$1,000 the historical high.

As some people might already know, for more than 2 years, I've spoken about why I invested 8% of my money into Gold and Silver, as a possible "insurance" (hedge) against Global Uncertainties, especially possibility of a stagflation.

As some might also know, I have some investments denominated in US$. Thus, how do I mitigate the risks of a possible devaluation of the dollar? By having some money into Gold and Silver.


Dennis Ng,

Singapore Property Market is Red Hot, Dennis shares his views on Home Loans... Print E-mail

The property market is hot, hot, hot. Home Loan volume has gone up by over 50% in the last 6 months, with volume exceeding the peak in year 2007.


SIBOR (Singapore Inter-bank Offered Rate has dropped to historical low of 0.68%. What’s the outlook for interest rates? Dennis Ng of shares with Channel News Asia.

FREE Talk by Dennis:"How Average Person Can Become Rich? on 12 Sep 2009 Print E-mail

As you might know, Dennis has written the First Bilingual (Chinese/English) book on Personal Finance, entitled "Mastering Your Personal Finance 如何做个理财掌门人.

This book was ranked the 2nd Bestselling Book in Popular Bookstores in Aug 2009!

The first print of 2,000 books were sold out in 1 month, now the 2nd Print is out in major bookstores, including Popular, Kinokuniya, Times, MPH and Page One.

On 12 Sep 2009, Dennis will be conducting a "Book Talk" at VIVO City Page One Bookstore, from 2pm to 3 pm.

Date: 12 Sep 2009

Venue: VIVO City, Page One BookStore

Time: 2 pm to 3 pm.

Event: Talk and Autograph Signing.

Admission is FREE, just be there!

The EXTRA Content in the 2nd Print include:

1. Why Insurance Planning is Crucial in Overall Financial Planning

2. Do we really need to write a Will

3. How to Pick a Winning IPO

4. Has a New Bull Market Started?

5. Is it a Good Time to Buy Property NOW?

This book is retailing at Bookstores for S$19.90. You can get a 20% discount and get the book at S$15.90 by ordering and paying at this url:

Note: the physical book will be mailed to you in 14 day's time after payment.





~ Testimonials ~

In this book, Dennis has shared many useful tips and practical strategies on managing and growing wealth. I'm sure you will gain valuable insights from it.

Lorna Tan
Editor of "Invest" section in The Sunday Times and
Co-author of Personal Wealth Management


"It is possible to pursue your passion and become Rich. Dennis is one such living example. I'm glad to have witnessed his journey and transformation over the last 10 years. Buying this book may be your best investment for your own financial future."

Richard Tan
CEO, Success Resources Group
Winner of Phoenix Award 2003.

"To achieve financial freedom and security, one has to regard financial planning as a priority in life. Dennis has given some good ideas that are useful for personal financial planning. Your future is now in your hands."

Major (NS) James Sim,
President, Financial Planning Association of Singapore

"Dennis is thoroughly familiar with Housing Loans as well as the financial matters faced by many members of the public. Analogies used are close to our hearts and can strike a responsive chord with readers, allowing readers to understand the abstract concepts easily. I give my full endorsement to this book."

Adrin Loi
Executive Chairman, Ya Kun Kaya Toast

0.4% of People Paid for 25% of Income Taxes Collected by IRAS... Print E-mail

Talking about the Rich-Poor Divide, it seems that the Rich are getting Richer, while the Average are getting Poorer from the latest statistics from IRAS.




Dennis Ng, - When You Master Your Finances, You Master Your Destiny!


THEY make up just 0.4 per cent of resident taxpayers – but account for a hefty one-quarter of net personal income tax payable.


In all, 3,799 residents, a surge from the 2,751 in the previous year, declared an annual income of above $1 million for Year of Assessment (YA) 2008.


Their net tax payable? $1.36 billion, or more than what’s payable by some 830,000 resident taxpayers who make $150,000 or less a year.


As for the biggest group of taxpayers, the 193,387 with declared income of $30,000 to $40,000, they were liable for net personal taxes of just $38 million, after tax credits and rebates.


These figures from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore’s (Iras) annual report come on the heels of a recent KPMG report suggesting the global decline in personal income tax rates could soon see a reversal, particularly in the top tier, as governments seek new ways to fund stimulus spending.


Singapore’s tax rate starts at 3.5 per cent, and the top rate of 20 per cent – which kicks in only for chargeable income over $320,000 – remains the lowest in the region after Hong Kong.


This progressive income tax structure is because the Republic does not want to see a huge income gap among its citizens, said Associate Professor Annie Koh, dean of executive and professional education at the Singapore Management University.


“Singapore believes in as much equality as possible, although we are not a socialist state,” she said.


At the same time, the “very rich” are “quite happy paying tax as Singapore residents since we don’t apply a tax on their global sources of income like the United States does”, she added.


In all, the Iras collected a total of $29.8 billion in tax revenue in FY2008/2009, a 2.4 per cent increase from the previous financial year and representing 72.5 per cent of the government operating revenue.


The global financial crisis triggered by the collapse of Lehman Brothers last September slowed the rate of increase for the FY2008/2009 collections but otherwise did not have a major impact.


“This is because the bulk of the tax collection is income tax which is based on income of businesses and individuals in the preceding year,” the Iras said.


Income tax collection – including corporate, individual and withholding – amounted to $17.2 billion, 14.9 per cent higher than that in the last financial year. GST collection increased by 5.2 per cent to $6.5 billion.


Individuals find relief


Individuals, meanwhile, benefited from a slew of reliefs.


The one-off personal tax rebate of20 per cent was enjoyed by 1,026,627 people. In all, 218,600 individuals with an assessable income of more than $20,000 did not have to pay income tax at all after deducting reliefs.


A total of $91 million in Parenthood Tax Rebate – given to married Singapore residents to encourage families to have more children – was claimed, with more than 58,000 using it to offset their income tax.


The final collection on estate duty, which was abolished in February, amounted to $47.4 million.


Less corporate tax ahead


On the corporate front, 10,514 companies declared chargeable income at $10,000 or less.


At the other end of the scale, 1,736 companies declared chargeable income of above $5 million.


For the first time, the Iras provided a breakdown of net tax by sector in its annual report.

It was no surprise that the financial sector contributed the most, about 31 per cent of total net tax assessed in YA2008.


The Iras expects corporate tax collection to shrink in the next one or two financial years, due to the downturn as well as the 1 percentage-point reduction in corporate income tax rate to 17 per cent from YA2010.

The state of the property market, too, was reflected in last year’s collections.


There was a 17.6 per cent rise in property tax collection, the result of higher rentals in the first half of FY2008/09.


But as the number of property transactions fell in the second half, along with property prices, stamp duties plunged too, with collection 61.1 per cent lower that in the previous fiscal year.


Iras chairman Teo Ming Kian noted that even as Singapore grappled with the economic downturn, “as a small nation, (it) has to continuously innovate and invest resources to develop new competitive advantages to our economy.


“Taxation is an essential component of our fiscal system”.


(Via todayonline)

Lottery Winner Became Broke Again 6 Years Later... Print E-mail

In my seminars, I always share that it is important for us to learn to increase our Financial Intelligence when we don't have much money. Because if you really think about it, what is the difference between S$1,000 and S$1,000,000, it is just a matter of having 3 extra zeros behind, that's all.


Thus, if you don't know how to Manage and Grow S$1,000, when you're given S$1,000,000, you will just "amplify" your mistakes, so instead of making S$1,000 mistake, you make S$1,000,000 mistake.


This is why statistics show that most people who became Rich through lotteries typically end up broke within 5 years after they won their money.


Below is a real life story illustrating what I shared above.


If you want to learn "How to Save and Accumulte One Million Dollars", you can do so by clicking this url:




Dennis Ng


UK Girl Broke After Spending Winnings
'I wish I never won $4.5m lottery prize'
THE numbers 1, 10, 17, 23, 29 and 35 changed then-teenager Callie Rogers' life.
29 August 2009

The numbers 1, 10, 17, 23, 29 and 35 changed then-teenager Callie Rogers' life.

She was 16 when she won £1.9 million ($4.5m) in a British lottery in 2003.

It made her Britain's second youngest winner.

It also made her one of Britain's youngest losers.

Now 22, Miss Rogers is broke, having spent her money on two breast enlargement operations, luxury cars, booze and a string of deadbeat boyfriends.

The one-time millionaire is now living with her mother in a small house and has to take on three cleaning jobs to make ends meet, reported News of the World.

She has put her home up for sale at a cut-price £180,000 and faces bankruptcy if it isn't sold as she has a £3,000 legal bill to settle.

She is also locked in a custody battle over one of her two kids - and has attempted to take her life for a second time.

According to The Daily Mail, Miss Rogers told a friend: 'My life is a shambles and hopefully now the money has all gone I can find some happiness. It's brought me nothing but unhappiness. It's ruined my life.

'I've just wanted to make people happy by spending money on them. But it hasn't made me happy. It just made me anxious that people are only after me for my money.'

This is a far cry from the heady times soon after she won the money. She quit her £3.60-an-hour job and was on the front page of nearly every national newspaper, reported the News and Star. She also made TV appearances.

She said then 'I'm going to take two years out and go travelling.

'I've never been abroad before, so I need to get my passport. Then after that I would like to go back to education. I'd like to go and do my GCSEs and become a social worker.'

Top of her shopping list then was a new wheelchair for her disabled foster mum.

But sadly, the money soon got to her head.

She bought and furnished four homes for herself, her mum, dad and grandmother. And she splurged £200,000 on luxury holidays with relatives and pals. Around £190,000 went on gifts and unpaid 'loans' to loved ones, reported News of the World.

Two breast jobs cost £13,000 in total. And she spent £115,000 on luxury cars plus £250,000 on parties and enjoying the high life.

But a vast chunk went on a string of sponging boyfriends, reported News of the World.

At the time of the win, Miss Rogers was dating boyfriend No 1 who was nine years older than her. He quit his timber-yard job, lived off the £200-a-day 'wage' Miss Rogers paid him and blew cash meant for furniture on booze benders.

After they split, boyfriend No 2 was given a £7,000 car and £3,000 to be her chauffeur. Two weeks later, he vanished - with the car.


Next was an unemployed factory worker.

She bought him a £pounds;15,000 sports car and they got engaged.

But she went on to accuse him of stealing £pounds;53,000, dumped him but dropped the allegation and discovered she was pregnant.

They got back together before their son was born - only for the boyfriend to get arrested for fighting. Amid escalating rows with her family, and battling depression, Miss Rogers overdosed on 60 pills.

Then in 2007 she gave birth - only to discover two months later that her boyfriend was bedding her sister.

The boyfriend is currently fighting for custody of their daughter - and was granted a temporary residence order last week, which means the little girl is living with him.

Miss Roger's last relationship was with a cocaine dealer now serving two years' jail.

Shortly before his arrest in December last year, she slashed her wrists and was found in a pool of blood and rushed to hospital.

Life, unfortunately, has come full circle for Miss Rogers.

Four years ago she told how her windfall had led to her first suicide attempt. She said then: 'Until you win such a large amount of money at such a young age, you don't realise the pressures that come with it.

'I did it because winning the lottery has ruined my life. I wish I had never won. I haven't been able to cope with it - and I was convinced I'd be better off dead.'

Most People Lose Money, Don't Follow Them Print E-mail

Welcome to the 105th Issue of Weekly e-newsletter by This week I like to share with you "Most People Lose Money, Don’t Follow them"

If you have friends who like to receive this information-rich FREE Weekly E-Newsletter, ask them to go to our website where they can sign up immediatelyand get a FREE Special Report "How to cut your tax legally by 23% to 59%?"


Dennis Ng, - help you get BEST Deal in Housing Loans in Singapore & Australia

Most People Lose Money, Don’t Follow Them

As you might know, majority of people lose money when they invest. Thus, we should not follow the majority (herd mentality), if we want to make money from investing.

Recently, after being very negative for almost 2 years, most analysts are now getting bullish, and most of them think that the economic recovery will be V Shape (strong recovery), rather than W shape (up, down and up). Note: I think W shape economic recovery is actually possible.

What difference a few months make? Back in March 2009, most analysts were very pessimistic and bearish.

In Mar 2009, I wrote an article to “urge people to get excited” instead. This article entitled “Make Market Cycles Work for you” was published on Sunday Times 29 March 2009. (Yup, I don’t do hindsight analysis).

Make market cycles work for you 29 March 2009 Sunday Times

Observing nature, we will notice cycles.

Similarly in the financial markets, there are market cycles where busts follow booms and vice versa. That is why the 'party' ended with a market crash last year, after global stock prices shot up by between 200 and 500 per cent in the last four years.

According to historical analysis, 2008 was one of the worst years for stocks since 1937. For many, this might be depressing news but for me, this is exciting news.

To read the entire article, click here:

Recently, some suburban condos are selling at EVEN HIGHER than Year 2007’s Peak prices, one in Ang Mo Kio sold at S$1,150 psf (vs S$900 in year 2007), one at Tanah Merah sold at S$800 psf, (vs S$620 in year 2007). Many people are excited to buy, again I came out on 31 July 2009 to caution in a nationwide TV News (on Channel 5, Channel News Asia, Channel 8 and Channel U), saying that these condos are over-priced.

I learned from many sifus over these years to learn how to invest. I didn’t acquire all these knowledge overnight.

On 5, 6 and 7 Sep 2009, you can learn how to “Unleash Wealth in Your Life” from one of my sifus, Mr Lin Wei Xian (whom I learned a lot about Setting up a business and growing it profitably). In this 3 full-day Chinese Seminar, other than Lin Wei Xian, you can also learn from 3 other speakers, including Guo Teng Yi, Wu Juan Yu and myself, Dennis Ng (Wu Jia Wan). I’ll be sharing about Managing and Growing your Personal Wealth.

For details, please click this url:


Special Free Gift: You get Dennis' book "Mastering Your Personal Finance" Retail Price of S$19.90 FREE when you get your tickets from this website.

Hurry, seats are limited. You can register and pay for the Seminar at this url:

Each year, I spend more than S$10,000 buying books, attending seminars etc, is it spending money? Nope, it is actually investment, since the knowledge and ideas I acquired over the years have helped me make more than S$1 million dollars.

Start attending seminars, this might be the start of your own Millions…

Note: above is just my personal opinion. This e-newsletter is not giving you advice.

We help consumers compare all the Housing Loan packages so as to help them get the BEST deal.

How much do we charge for our service? As we're paid by banks separately, we have decided NOT to charge a fee for our service. Therefore, this service is FREE to you and you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by engaging our service.

Just call us at 6737 8801 or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it if you're considering to buy a property or refinance your Housing Loan, whether in Singapore or in Australia and you want to make sure you get "pre-approval" of loan before you commit your cash.


Dennis Ng on behalf of get you BEST Deal in Housing Loan in BOTH Singapore and Australia!
6737 8801 or 6339 9255
Copyright year 2009, LEVERAGE HOLDINGS PTE LTD
Make Market Cycles Work for You by Dennis Ng Print E-mail
Make market cycles work for you 29 March 2009 Sunday Times

By Dennis Ng

Observing nature, we will notice cycles.


There are, for instance, four seasons, with the cold winter followed by blossoms in the spring. And just when everyone is having fun in the sun, it is good to be mindful that temperatures will drop as autumn approaches. Those who are not prepared with sufficient clothing might freeze when winter returns.


Similarly in the financial markets, there are market cycles where busts follow booms and vice versa. That is why the 'party' ended with a market crash last year, after global stock prices shot up by between 200 and 500 per cent in the last four years.


According to historical analysis, 2008 was one of the worst years for stocks since 1937. For many, this might be depressing news but for me, this is exciting news. By observing market cycles and investing accordingly, one can try to time the market.


I would say that in the short term, it is difficult to time the market correctly on a consistent basis. However, it is definitely possible to roughly estimate at which stage of the market cycle we are in.


For instance, in 2007, the stock market was in its fourth bullish year. Back then, the Straits Times Index (STI) had risen about 200 per cent from a low of 1,226 in March 2003 to over 3,600 points.


As far as I remember, the Singapore stock market has never had a bull market that lasted more than five years. Believing back then that we were near the tail end of a bull market, I sold most of my stocks and avoided the market carnage that followed a few months after that.


The steps to 'market cycle investing' are simple.

  • First, we try to estimate at which stage of the market cycle we are in.
  • Secondly, we try to identify the major trend direction - upwards or downwards.
  • Finally, we position ourselves accordingly; basically, the strategy to take is to go with the trend instead of going against the trend.

For instance, if you bought stocks during 2004 when the stock market was on an uptrend, it was easy to make money since most stocks were moving up in price. However, when stock markets were in retreat last year, it was very difficult to avoid losing money on stocks, simply because most stocks fell in price in accordance with the general market direction.


Some people firmly believe in the 'buy and hold' strategy, holding on to their stocks through thick and thin, whether the stock market is moving up or down.


I used to be one of them until I realised I lost out on a lot of opportunities by not selling out when markets were high and buying back again when markets were low. We do have to be mindful of opportunity costs. In the last bear market from March 2000 to March 2003, I also observed that when the tide turned, almost all stock prices went down, including blue chips.


Let me give an example: DBS Group Holdings' share price was as low as $8 in 2003; it hovered between $8 and $10 for close to one year. If you practised market cycle investing, and even if you had missed the bottom, you could have easily bought the bank's shares at about $10.


In 2007, after four years of bull runs, DBS' share price shot up to as high as $25 and hovered between $20 and $25 for more than one year.


Again, even if you missed the top, you could have easily sold DBS shares when the price was about $20. By buying at $10 and selling at $20, you would have easily pocketed a 100 per cent return over four years. Not bad at all.


Similarly, by practising market cycle investing, after selling out at $20, and after one year of a bear market, you can now easily buy back DBS shares at less than $10 again.


On the other hand, if you had bought DBS shares at $10 in 2003 and steadfastly held on to them through 'thick and thin', you would have basically enjoyed the 'roller-coaster ride' of the market but would have no profits to show after five years.


Of course, nobody knows when the market will bottom. My experience is that I was early and invested all my money by early 2002. However, I was one year too early as the Singapore stock market bottomed only in March 2003.


Despite missing the bottom by 12 months, I still managed to achieve over 200 per cent in returns riding the four-year bull market that followed.


Thus, by practising market cycle investing, one would inevitably buy when prices are low, and sell out when prices are high.


By doing so, you have also reduced your risks of losing money.


The author is an avid investor and an accountant by training. He co-founded, an independent mortgage consultancy portal, in 2003.

Today, a friend called me and said that when he re-read the article I wrote on 29 March 2009, he is amazed about the "truth" I shared in the article "Make Market Cycles Work for You", published on 29 March 2009.




Dennis Ng,


The Start of the Stock Market Correction? Print E-mail

Global stock markets have been moving up and up since Mar 2009.....with the U.S. market closing down on Friday 14 Aug 2009 and China market also down, is this the start of a Long Awaited Correction?


Below information I extracted from




Dennis Ng,  


A summary of the movements of major global stock markets for the past week, as well as various other measurement periods, is given in the table below.

The MSCI World Index (+0.1%) and MSCI Emerging Markets Index (unchanged) marked time last week, but are still showing solid year-to-date gains of +15.6% and +50.4% respectively. As weakness crept in towards the close of the week, the US and a number of other markets snapped a winning streak of four straight weeks. Emerging markets underperformed developed markets for the second week running since the beginning of May, indicating signs of risk appetite abating somewhat.

Click here or on the table below for a larger image.



After surging by 90.7% since the beginning of the year and notching up seven straight weeks of gains, the Chinese Shanghai Composite Index has now declined by 12.2% since its peak of August 4, taking the Index back to its early-July level. On Friday, the Index (3,047) dropped to below its 50-day moving average (3,103), but it is still comfortably trading above its 200-day line (2,420). The Rate-of-Change Indicator (black line in the bottom section of the chart) has broken below the zero line, thereby flashing a sell signal.




“… the margin of safety is becoming ever more thin as the enemy of the rational buyer, namely optimism, reaches new heights. … since a self-sustaining economic recovery appears doubtful, I do not believe we have started a new bull market. Rather, it is more than likely that economic growth will disappoint in late 2009/early 2010 as the domestic economy confronts many of the emerging secular challenges.”

Buy Property Cannot Go Wrong? Print E-mail

Buy Property Cannot Go Wrong?

Clients called and emailed to thank me, they said I'm the first person who appeared on TV News to warn about the dangers of over-paying for property.

Just another day I saw on TV what some people said when being interviewed on TV on why they are rushing in to buy properties. One lady said:"you cannot go wrong with property investments......" when I heard that I was so worried for her because her words show that she knows nothing about property investment.


Another person when asked why she invested into property said:"interest rate on bank deposits so low, so I buy property to earn rental income." I was thinking does she know what is the "rental yield" she'll be getting, probably just 3% to 4% and rental rates on condos are still falling. However, if you over-pay for a property and buy a property for S$1 million and the price drops to S$900,000, there is little comfort to say you collected S$30,000 rental when you lose S$100,000.....if you over-borrow to buy a property, things can also go very wrong....


Currently, I personally do not see any "good deals" in NEW property launches by developers, some new condos are over-priced. If you really want to invest in properties, you might have better luck in finding a good deal in the resale market (secondary market).


Before you rush into buying a property, make sure you do your homework and work out your sums to ensure you can comfortably afford the property.

I am baffled by people willing to pay S$1,150 psf for a 99 year leasehold condo in Ang Mo Kio when there are condos in Bishan selling for S$800 to S$900 psf.


I also cannot understand why people need to queue and when demand was so high, they had to "ballot" to buy a condo at Optima at Tanah Merah at S$800 psf to be completed in 3 years' time.......why bother to do that when you can easily buy a NEWLY Completed (with immediate Rental Income) condo at Casa Merah (next to it) for S$700 to S$750 psf.


Guess some of these buyers do NOT do their homework at all.


I'm shocked that people do NOT hesitate to fork out hundreds of thousands of dollars to invest into stocks and property without even first acquiring the Knowledge to invest in stocks and Property.

I want to "correct" this by sharing the "Secrets to Making Money in Stocks and Property" in a 3 full-day Seminar. Details are at the url below:

Note: above is just my personal opinion. This e-newsletter is not giving you advice.
Dennis Ng, - when you Master Your Finances, You Master Your Destiny!
The Worst is probably over does not mean that Recovery is here... Print E-mail

The latest retrenchment figures in U.S. is only 247,000, much less than the 325,000 expected. As a result, U.S. stock market goes up on 7 Aug 2009 (Friday).


Many analysts seem to confuse 2 things, yes, I agree that the Worst of the Crisis is probably behind us, however, that does not mean that Recovery is here.


Consumption in U.S. constitutes 70% of U.S. economy. With more people getting retrenched, (though there is a trend of fewer people being retrenched over the last few months) but that does not equate to an increase in jobs and employment. And without an improvement in employment rate, U.S. economy cannot recover.

In reccent months, Global stock markets seem to have priced in a "V-shaped" economic recovery. If there is any information that might lead to a question that the recovery might be "W" shape instead, market sentiments can turn (change aversely) very quickly.


Above is just sharing my personal comments and not meant as investment advice.




Dennis Ng, - when you master your Finance, you master your Destiny!


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. employers cut 247,000 jobs in July, far less than expected and the least in any month since last August, according to data on Friday that provided the clearest evidence yet that the economy was turning around.


With fewer workers being laid off, the unemployment rate eased to 9.4 percent in July from 9.5 percent the prior month, Labor Department data showed, the first time the jobless rate had fallen since April 2008.


The government revised job losses for May and June to show 43,000 fewer jobs lost than previously reported.

Analysts had expected non-farm payrolls to drop 320,000 in July and the unemployment rate to rise to 9.6 percent. The forecast was made earlier this week before other jobs data prompted some economists to lower their estimates for job losses.


U.S. stock index futures jumped on the data, which was seen as more evidence the economy's healing process had started. U.S. government bond prices tumbled and the dollar rose against the Japanese yen.


"This is positive news. This is the best showing (since) prior to the financial meltdown and those are important benchmarks to achieve," said Richard Dekaser, president of Woodley Park Research in Washington.


Data ranging from home sales to manufacturing have pointed to an economy starting to dig itself out of the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.


The fall in the jobless rate will be good news for President Barack Obama, who has seen his standing in public opinion polls slip as Americans fret about the weak economy and high unemployment.



While employers cut fewer jobs than forecast in July, unemployment remains stubbornly high, meaning households have less income to spend. This could set the economy for an anemic recovery, analysts say.


Moreover, in July the workforce fell by 422,000, far more than the 155,000 decline in June, suggesting jobless workers may have given up looking for new work.


Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the economy has shed 6.7 million jobs, the department said, adding that the number of long-term unemployed continues to rise.


Job losses in July were spread across all sectors, but the pace of firings slowed markedly from previous months.


Manufacturing employment fell by 52,000 -- the first time since September losses were less than 100,000 -- after shrinking by 131,000 in June. This was probably due to the reopening of General Motors and Chrysler assembly plants after bankruptcy closures.


"Because layoffs in auto manufacturing already had been so large, fewer workers than usual were laid off for seasonal shutdowns in July," Labor Commissioner Keith Hall said, adding that the seasonally adjusted gain did not indicate an improvement in the industry.

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