Around the Wire: 4 Finance News Trends from September and October
A look at the recent finance industry news from PR Newswire that you might have missed.
By Victoria Douglas, Rocky Parker | Published Nov. 09, 2022
Keeping up with all the finance news sent via PR Newswire can be tough. In September and October, PR Newswire distributed more than 8,000 finance-related press releases in the U.S. and Canada.
Our team wants to help readers navigate this sea of releases, so we’ve been monitoring the headlines and noticed a few recurring themes.
As the midterm elections approached, several big topics loomed large on voters’ minds. An August survey conducted by Pew Research found that 77% of registered voters cited the economy as the top issue affecting their vote. While employment rates and wages have improved, rising interest rates have put the brakes on the booming housing market seen in 2021 and early 2022.
The impacts of inflation on the jobs and housing markets could be seen clearly in the news announcements distributed by PR Newswire in recent months.
And ESG continues to drive the conversation. We saw a regular stream of ESG-related news releases sent out as companies shared updates, goals, and partnerships for their sustainability initiatives.
Let’s dig into the trends we’ve noticed in finance news in this two-month period.
Some of the Most Popular Finance Releases
These are a few of the most-read or most engaged with finance press releases over the past couple of months:
- In mid-September, as students began heading back to the classroom, U.S. News & World Report announced its rankings for the year’s best colleges and universities. Graduate indebtedness was one of several factors that were considered, an especially timely measure given the Biden administration’s initiative for student loan forgiveness.
- Deloitte predicted an increase in holiday retail sales this year due to higher prices, but also said that sales volume will see less growth because of inflation. The forecast also predicted a growth in e-commerce sales as customers look for convenience and affordability.
- In early October, FTX and Visa announced an expansion of their partnership, which provides users with FTX-branded debit cards, allowing them to use their crypto balances to fund their purchases. It was another example of traditional finance companies getting into the crypto game.
Finance News Trends
Here’s a look at a few of the trends we noticed among the finance-related press releases in September and October, with a few examples of each.
1. Companies React to Inflation
As world banks and governments take action to curb soaring inflation, companies across the U.S. are responding. In September and October, PR Newswire distributed nearly 1,400 releases that mentioned “inflation.”
Press releases related to inflation examined the impacts of raised costs and interest rates on personal finance, the housing market, holiday shopping plans, stock markets, and more. Inflation was also a top concern among voters heading into the midterm elections.
“This is shifting the tectonic plates beneath the world economy, and threatens dangerous developments in society and in politics as we all try to adapt,” Bloomberg editor John Authers told Morning Brew.
Here are just a few releases from September and October with a focus on inflation:
- 73% of Gen Z Say Economic Environment Has Made it More Challenging to Save
- Inflation Is Making It Harder to Pay Medical Bills
- USAA Survey Data Shows Inflation Affecting Discretionary Spending; Retirement Preparations Largely Untouched
- High Inflation Spurs Most Significant Tax Code Increases in Nearly 40 Years
- 1-in-4 Americans plan to skip Thanksgiving as inflation hits the holidays, according to Personal Capital research
- Deloitte: Holiday Season to Feature Fewer Shopping Bags and Suitcases as Consumers Navigate Inflation
As we enter the holiday shopping season, we’re sure to see more press releases examining the impacts of the economy on consumers’ shopping habits and plans (although it apparently might not have an effect on subscription services).
We’ll keep following this trend, which has led to a warning from the International Monetary Fund of “a harsh worldwide recession if policymakers mishandled the fight against inflation.”
2. Housing Market Cools
Rising interest rates due to inflation have impacted the housing market significantly. In September and October, PR Newswire distributed more than 4,000 real estate releases.
As interest rates continue to rise, and less inventory is available, the booming housing market is finally cooling down. Mortgage companies are offering new tools to assist homebuyers such as Rocket Mortgage’s Inflation Buster Program. And after Hurricane Ian devastated the gulf side of Florida, flood insurance will also impact the housing market.
Here are a few releases from September and October with a focus on the housing market:
- As Inflation Lingers, Homeowners Are Paying Closer Attention to Their Rising Home Equity but Not Tapping into It
- Americans are more concerned with rising home prices than a recession, according to Personal Capital survey
- Home sales slow as rising mortgage rates drive up monthly payments
- Flood risks are having a growing influence on home buyers
- Recent renters reveal five winning strategies to land a place in today's hot market
The U.S is seeing the highest mortgage rates in the past 20 years, and this is impacting both homebuying and homebuilding. As the Federal Reserve attempts to dampen a recession with rising interest rates, the housing market should continue to cool.
3. Employment Trends
Many companies are looking into what their employees consider to be important and finding similar trends: employees value flexibility in work schedules, DEI initiatives, and a strong company culture, especially when it comes to social issues. In September and October, PR Newswire distributed over 900 releases related to employment.
Employment rates have continued to increase, and are expected to stay strong in Q4, especially in the Information Technology sector. Wages, even though they have increased, are still failing to match inflation rates.
Here are a few releases from September and October with a focus on employment:
- ADP National Employment Report: Private Sector Employment Increased by 208,000 Jobs in September; Annual Pay was Up 7.8%
- The Conference Board Employment Trends Index™ (ETI) Increased in September
- Hourly Earnings Growth Slows in September
- Holiday Workers Want Wage Increases and Schedule Flexibility This Season
- Biotech Sector Thrives, Generating Nearly $3 Trillion Economic Impact - New Report Shows
With the holiday season around the corner, seasonal employment will increase, the IT and biotech spaces are also seeing an increase in hiring.
Companies are listening to their employees' concerns as employee retention becomes increasingly important. Wages are improving, but will it be enough to keep up with inflation, which is currently at 8.2% and is expected to be at 7.80% by the end of the quarter?
4. Investing in ESG
Consumers and shareholders continue to demand more from companies when it comes to developments in their Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives. September and October saw 442 press releases related to ESG cross the wire. This compares to 337 announcements in the prior two-month period.
But despite the demands for action, recent data from Morning Consult shows that the vast majority of U.S. adults (86%) do not know what ESG stands for. This signals a large opportunity for brands to continue educating their customers about sustainability in general as well as companies’ own efforts.
Axios chief financial correspondent Felix Salmon offers a helpful breakdown of the acronym: “E is the responsibility to the planet, G is the responsibility to shareholders, and S is the responsibility to employees, vendors and customers.”
Over the past few months, we’ve seen a number of releases focused on how ESG initiatives impact investing. Here are a few examples:
- Climate Impact Partners Releases Fourth Annual Report on the Climate Commitments of the Fortune Global 500
- Announcing the 2022 Fortune Change the World List
- With 20% of Retail Banks Planning to Significantly Increase Spending on ESG, Sustainability Is the Next Frontier for Competitive Advantage
- Forrester: Money -- Not Ethics -- Will Fuel Green Market Opportunity
- As 2022 M&A Activity Returns to Pre-Pandemic Levels, Green Dealmaking Gains Steam
As we continue through the current earnings season, we’ll be keeping an eye on how ESG efforts are tied to companies’ financial results and earnings outlooks.
The state of the economy has had a large impact on all areas of life, from employment to housing and shopping. Companies across the finance industry issued releases about how they are responding to inflation, how it’s affecting their customers, and what to expect moving forward. As we head into the holiday season and the midterm election results continue to take shape, we’ll keep an eye on these shifting trends.
About the Authors
Vicki Douglas is a Senior Content Specialist with Cision PR Newswire. She started in 2007 and currently assists the onboarding team, is responsible for content curation, and is an earnings content specialist. Her hobbies outside of work are swimming and playing with her dog, Kylo.
Rocky Parker is the Manager of Audience and Journalist Engagement at Cision PR Newswire. She's been with the company since 2010 and has worked with journalists and bloggers as well as PR and comms professionals. Outside of work, she can be found trying a new recipe, binging a new show, or cuddling with her pitbull, Hudson.