New home sales jumped in March
WASHINGTON – New home sales jumped 20.7% in March, rebounding from the previous month when severe winter storms wreaked havoc in many parts of the country.
Sales climbed at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.02 million last month after falling 16.2% in February, the Commerce Department reported on April 23.
The median selling price of a new home sold in March was $ 330,800, up just 0.8% from the median selling price a year ago.
The sharp rise in new home sales contrasted with existing home sales, which fell for a second straight month in March, a drop due to a lack of supply that pushed home prices to new highs.
AmEx revenue decreases with travel and dining
NEW YORK – American Express saw its first quarter profits rise sharply, but the company saw a significant drop in revenue as fewer customers used their credit cards and those whose balances paid off their debt.
The company said it made a profit of $ 2.24 billion compared to a profit of $ 367 million in the same period a year earlier. This quarter’s results included a one-time benefit of $ 675 million from AmEx’s loan loss reserves. Like other financial companies, AmEx has set aside funds to cover potentially bad loans in the pandemic, but as the economy has improved, those funds are coming from those rainy days funds and returned to the shareholders.
Turnover was down 12% from the previous year.
American Express revenues have been hit by the pandemic, with fewer cardholders traveling, dining out, having fun or shopping.
Blackouts continue to plague budget airlines
NEW YORK – A technology provider said a malware attack triggered a one-day outage that crashed reservation systems at around 20 low-cost airlines around the world.
The company, Radixx, said it noticed “unusual activity” around its reservation program this week and that it was still working to restore service on April 23. She did not describe the malware or explain how it entered the program.
Radixx said its system works separately from those used by some major airlines that are customers of its parent company, Saber Corp., based in Southlake, Texas. Radixx said customer information was not compromised.
The timing could hardly be worse for start-up Avelo Airlines, which cannot process reservations as it prepares for its first flight next week to California. On its homepage, Avelo apologized to customers and encouraged them to browse flight listings even if they cannot book travel.
South African low-cost airline FlySafair said it had created a “mini-booking platform” allowing customers to purchase one-way tickets for flights until next Tuesday.
“We don’t know when we’ll be on our feet again,” the airline said on its website.
Vietravel Airlines, a new carrier in Vietnam, said it was performing maintenance on the system but still selling tickets at airport counters.