THE PHONE’S PORTABLE, BUT NOT THE NUMBER
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for the third time has
extended the deadline for requiring wireless phone service carriers
to allow consumers to keep their phone numbers when they switch to
a new service.
Congress gave people an option to keep their local phone numbers when
they switched phone companies back in 1996. But most wireless service
providers oppose the option, citing costs and technical hurdles.
About 137 million Americans subscribe to cell phone services. About
a third change carriers each year.
ECONOMY GROWING, BUT SLOWER THAN THOUGHT
U.S. economic growth faltered during the second quarter and began
the year at a slower pace than previously thought, according to government
sources in July.
The Commerce Dept. said gross domestic product advanced at a 1.1 percent
seasonally adjusted annual rate during the quarter—half of the
2.2 percent rate estimated earlier by economists.
Consumer spending, which fuels two-thirds of national economic activity,
continued to grow, but at a slower 1.9 percent annual rate after increasing
at a 3.1 percent pace during the first quarter.
Consumer spending is likely to continue growing, however, thanks mostly
to automakers who have brought back or expanded their use of no-interest
NO PLACE LIKE HOME
When it comes to getting a good return, many investors these days
are looking homeward. Not only is the real estate market hot right
now, but many homeowners are looking to reinvest in their own properties
as a safe bet alternative to financial markets.
Many experts are advising homeowners to use their investment capital
to pay down their mortgages and improve their property. The return
on paying down the mortgage can be as high as the interest rate on
the loan. An extra $25 a month, they say, can save a homeowner $20,000
in interest over a typical 30-year mortgage.
Those looking to sell their homes should invest in landscaping, painting,
new interiors or even a good cleaning to boost the resale value.