BOOM: Banks Report Record Profit… BUST: Atlantic City Casinos Down 12%

U.S. Banks Reported Record First-Quarter Profit

WASHINGTON—U.S. banks notched a record quarterly profit to start 2018, newly released data show, a result of the new tax law, rising interest rates and an improving economy.

The industry, spanning banks from global giants such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. to tiny community lenders, reported $56 billion in net income in the first quarter, up 27.5% from the prior year’s quarter, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Tuesday. The new U.S. tax law gave banks a boost, but profits still would have been $49.4 billion without it,…

A.C. casino profits down in first quarter of 2018

ATLANTIC CITY — The first quarter of 2018 was not kind to the resort’s casinos, with gross operating profits down nearly 12 percent compared to the first three months of 2017, according to figures released Tuesday.

The seven Atlantic City casinos posted gross operating profits of $123.6 million through the first three months of 2018, a decline of 11.7 percent from last year. For the same period in 2017, the gaming houses reported profits of $139.9 million, based on data from the state Division of Gaming Enforcement.

“I am optimistic going forward,” Plousis said in a prepared statement Tuesday. “Sports betting will start soon, we licensed Hard Rock (Hotel & Casino Atlantic City) which will open next month and Ocean Resort (Casino) will be before us for a license so it can open this summer as well. Those three factors will enable the industry to draw new customers to see new casinos, try new forms of wagering, taste new restaurants and en-joy new entertainment.”

Third-party business sales and hotel occupancy rates were also down compared to 2017, 4 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively.

The silver lining for the first quarter of 2018 can be found in the hotel numbers, said Rummy Pandit, executive director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality & Tourism at Stockton University. Pandit noted the average rate per occupied room increased significantly from the first quarter of last year to this year. During the first three months of 2017, the rate was $103.42, while in 2018 the average was $121.47.

Another number Pandit said highlighted the resort’s financial stability was the revenue per available room. In the first quarter of 2017, the figure was $83, while in the first three months of this year it was $94.

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Inflation fears grow…

  • While broader inflation gauges have been restrained, price pressures are building in the freight and cargo industry.
  • Demand is surging from firms looking for trucks to carry their loads, with some gauges up more than 100 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Inflation is showing up elsewhere as well, with a New York Fed indicator at its highest level since 2006.

Investors and policymakers have gone looking for inflation over the past decade and largely have come up empty.

It could, however, come barreling at them soon like an 18-wheeler.

Multiple signs of inflation in freight-related industries are at or near historical highs, in what could be an early sign that price pressures are building and ready to reverberate around the economy.

Freight marketplace DAT keeps track of supply and demand in the freight industry through a bulletin board that matches companies with loads to be delivered to the vehicles that will take the goods to the marketplace. The measures are in the spot market, where vendors that don’t contract their deliveries find drivers for their products.

Recent readings show demand for vehicles skyrocketing, a sign that generally points to inflationary pressures building up in the supply chain.

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