News of the business week to come
IT'S BEEN A ROUGH FIRST QUARTER FOR MANY BANKS, particularly for those with large Florida operations. Next in the hot seat is BankAtlantic Bancorp. The Fort Lauderdale parent company of Bank-
Atlantic kicks off another week of quarterly earnings reports today.
IRS REBATE CHECKS ARE IN THE MAIL. Well, sort of. The government today will begin making rebate payouts to those who filled out their tax returns indicating a direct deposit option. The initial distribution of rebates is expected to stretch into July.
AS GAS PRICES CONTINUE TO CLIMB, it's likely that consumer confidence is still in the dumps. April numbers will be out Tuesday from the Conference Board and the University of Florida Bureau of Economic and Business Research. Last month, the Conference Board's national Consumer Confidence Index hit a five-year low, while the Florida Consumer Confidence Index was the lowest since 1991.
TAMPA ELECTRIC CO. PARENT TECO ENERGYwill dissect earnings Tuesday during a Web cast at www.tecoenergy.com. On Wednesday, the utility follows up by hosting its annual meeting at 10 a.m. at TECO Plaza on Franklin Street in Tampa.
HOW LOW WILL THE FED GO? The Federal Reserve is likely to announce another quarter-point cut in short-term interest rates on Wednesday. But with the federal funds rate at a lowly 2.25 percent, inflation fears are heating up. That means any rate cut this week could be the last one for a while.
The Tampa Downtown Partnership will release the findings of its first downtown Tampa worker and resident study Wednesday. The partnership initiated this study to get a better sense of the buying power, habits and desires of those who work and live downtown. Such information will be particularly valuable to developers, corporate relocation professionals, real estate professionals, retailers and restaurant owners. According to the partnership, the findings will provide a baseline for future similar reports.
YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE IS UP. How about your paycheck? A report to be released Tuesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation gives a state-by-state breakdown showing how wages have kept pace (or not) with family health coverage costs.
WITH ITS STOCK PRICE ON FIRE, Walter Industries Inc. will see if it can keep the flames going Thursday when it releases its first-quarter financial results after the close of markets. A conference call will follow on Friday.