** People rescuing an injured passenger from inside a passenger bus hit by a truck on Dhaka-Mawa Expressway in Shologhar area of Shreenagar upazila in Munshiganj on Thursday. ** Motorcycles allowed on Padma Bridge after 10 months ** Commuters charge extra fare, passengers disappointed ** 78 people killed in Yemen stampede ** Moon sighting committee meets today to ascertain Eid day ** 9 killed in road accidents in 3 districts ** US announces new $325 m military aid package for Ukraine ** Eid-ul-Fitr in Saudi Arabia today ** Eid exodus begins ** LPG price cut illusive ** 15 hurt as bus overturns in capital ** New interbank cheque clearing timings set for Eid holidays ** Four women hit by a train die in Tangail ** 12.28 lakh SIM users left Dhaka on Tuesday ** Sylhet engineer threatened over power outage ** People rush to village homes to spend Eid holidays with their near and dear ones. This photo was taken from Sadarghat Launch Terminal on Tuesday. NN photo ** Surge in cases of dehydration, diarrhoea amid summer heat wave ** Padma Bridge construction cost increases by Tk 2,412cr ** PM gives Tk 90m to Bangabazar fire victims ** Textile workers block highway demanding wage, Eid bonus ** Attack on PM's motorcade Ex-BNP MP, 3 others get life term ** Load-shedding increases for demand of electricity during heat wave ** Motorbikes to be allowed on Padma bridge from Thursday ** 5-day Eid vacation begins from today ** Take Nangalkot train accident as a warning about negligence of govt functionaries **

Do economic risks lurk as US interest rates rise?

26 September 2018 AFP, Washington

The US economy is cranking out robust figures 10 years after the start of the global financial crisis: strong growth, historically low unemployment, a soaring stock market.
But with the good news come rising interest rates as the Federal Reserve -- which on Wednesday is expected to raise the key lending rate for the third time this year - tries to keep the economy from overheating.
And after a decade of very low rates that enticed many to load up on debt, rising borrowing costs can expose hidden risks lurking in the US and world economies.
Unlike the runup to 2008, this time mortgages are not expected to be the root of the next crisis.
While US home loans continue to form the large bulk (68 percent) of household debt, and totaled $9 trillion through June 30, according to the New York Federal Reserve Bank, they are much healthier now.
The share of loans going to homebuyers with low credit scores is very small, and the delinquency rate on payments has declined to just over one percent, close to 20-year lows, according to quarterly data.
Meanwhile, the share of adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, remains a very low, 5 percent to 6 percent compared to 35 percent in 2005.
It was these ARMs which caused numerous defaults during the crisis when monthly payments skyrocketed and homeowners who counted on refinancing could no longer afford their homes.
Instead, homeowners have "locked in, many at extraordinarily low rates," Mortgage Bankers Association Chief Economist Michael Fratatoni told AFP.
The average rate for a 30-year mortgage was 4.9 percent in the latest week and is only expected to rise to 5.3 percent by next year, he said.
Of more concern than mortgages are auto and student loans, in the first case because of the rising number of borrowers with low credit scores and in the second because of the growing total. However, economists say that while the situation is increasingly worrying for individual households, these debt categories are unlikely to create systemic risks for the financial sector. Outstanding student loan debt stood at $1.41 trillion as of June 30 and about 11 percent was delinquent or in default.
The New York Fed previously has flagged the auto loan sector - with a total outstanding of $1.24 trillion - as finance companies extend an increasing amount of loans to subprime borrowers, or those with low credit scores, causing the median credit score to decline steadily and delinquencies to rise.

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