AP Business SummaryBrief at 10:52 p.m. EDT

US economy shrinks for a 2nd quarter, raising recession fear

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy shrank from April through June for a second straight quarter, contracting at a 0.9% annual pace and raising fears that the nation may be approaching a recession. The decline in the gross domestic product — the broadest gauge of the economy — followed a 1.6% annual drop from January through March. Consecutive quarters of falling GDP constitute one informal,...

READ MORE

US economy shrinks for a 2nd quarter, raising recession fear

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy shrank from April through June for a second straight quarter, contracting at a 0.9% annual pace and raising fears that the nation may be approaching a recession. The decline in the gross domestic product — the broadest gauge of the economy — followed a 1.6% annual drop from January through March. Consecutive quarters of falling GDP constitute one informal, though not definitive, indicator of a recession. The report comes at a critical time. Consumers and businesses have been struggling under the weight of punishing inflation and higher borrowing costs. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate by a sizable three-quarters of a point for a second straight time.

Biden shrugs off recession talk, talks up fighting inflation

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and his administration are going all out to play down a sobering new economic report. Instead, the president is highlighting legislative progress on measures he says will help tame inflation, reflecting political tensions sure to keep playing out in the runup to the midterm elections. Republicans say Thursday’s report showing the economy shrank for the second consecutive quarter is evidence of a “Biden recession.” Biden pointed to near-record-low unemployment and signs of continued business investment in the economy. And he celebrated congressional passage of a bill to boost the U.S. semiconductor industry and a Democrats-only proposal to lower prescription drug costs and tackle climate change.

EXPLAINER: How do we know when a recession has begun?

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy has contracted for two straight quarters, intensifying fears that it is on the cusp of a recession, if not already in one, barely two years after the pandemic downturn officially ended. Six months of contraction is a longstanding, informal definition of a recession. Yet nothing is simple in the post-pandemic economy, which has confounded policymakers and experts alike since the growth screeched to a halt in March 2020, when COVID-19 struck and 20 million Americans suddenly lost their jobs. While most economists — and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell — say the economy isn’t in a recession yet, many increasingly expect a downturn to start later this year or next.

Deal on Capitol Hill could ease seniors’ health costs

Some older Americans are cheering news of a deal on Capitol Hill that could lead to lower drug costs. The health care and climate agreement struck by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin includes multiple landmark provisions that could help Medicare beneficiaries. Among them: a $2,000-a-year-cap on prescription drug costs, and a provision allowing the federal government to directly negotiate with pharmaceutical companies. Senior citizens on costly drugs can run up bills of tens of thousands of dollars a year. David Lipschutz of the nonpartisan Center for Medicare Advocacy calls the deal “transformational” even if it doesn’t go as far as some lawmakers and advocates had hoped.

Unexpected deal would boost Biden pledge on climate change

WASHINGTON (AP) — An unexpected deal reached by Senate Democrats would be the most ambitious action ever taken by the United States to address global warming and could help President Joe Biden come close to meeting his pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030. The deal would spend nearly $370 billion over 10 years to boost electric vehicles, jump-start renewable energy such as solar and wind power and develop alternative energy sources such as hydrogen. The deal stunned lawmakers and activists who had given up hope that legislation could be enacted after West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said he could not support the measure because of inflation concerns.

JetBlue is buying Spirit for $3.8 billion after bidding war

JetBlue Airways is buying Spirit Airlines for $3.8 billion in a deal that could increase competition at the top end of the U.S. airline industry while eliminating the largest discount airline for travelers on a tight budget. The agreement announced Thursday capped bidding war that began in April, and it came one day after Spirit’s attempt to merge with rival discount carrier Frontier Airlines fell apart. JetBlue and Spirit would become the fifth-largest U.S. carrier. The only major obstacle remaining is the U.S. Justice Department. Antitrust regulators in the Biden administration have been critical of mergers, which they believe hurt consumers by limiting competition. The Justice Department sued to block a partnership between JetBlue and American Airlines.

Congress OKs bill to aid computer chip firms, counter China

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has passed a $280 billion package to boost the semiconductor industry and scientific research in a bid to create more high-tech jobs in the United States and help it better compete with international rivals, namely China. The House approved the bill by a solid margin of 243-187. The measure now goes to President Joe Biden to be signed into law, and it provides the White House with a major domestic policy victory. The GOP leadership in the House recommended a vote against the bill, arguing the semiconductor industry didn’t need “government handouts.” But some GOP lawmakers viewed passing the legislation as important for national security

Biden hails economic bill amid signs of broad Dem support

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is hailing a nascent Democratic package of climate, health care and tax initiatives as a giant step forward for the country. He spoke Thursday as congressional leaders began nailing down votes for a campaign-season bill they’ve cast as a boon for voters struggling with inflation. Just Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and conservative Sen. Joe Manchin stunned Washington by resurrecting components of a compromise many thought dead. On Thursday, early signs were encouraging for the party. After Schumer briefed Democratic senators on the 725-page measure, one senator said lawmakers’ reaction has been “uniformly positive.”

Apple still thriving as economy slows, despite 3Q profit dip

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Apple’s profit slipped during the past quarter, but the world’s largest technology company is holding up better than many of its peers as the economy teeters on the edge of a recession. While grappling with manufacturing headaches and inflation pressures that have vexed a wide range of businesses, Apple saw its profit for the April-June period decline by 10% while revenue edged up 2%. Both figures were better than analysts projected. The results for the April-June period weren’t a shock. That’s because Apple had already warned that its revenue would be depressed by supply chain problems that have been compounded by pandemic-related shutdowns in China factories

Amazon posts 2Q loss but revenue tops estimates, stock jumps

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon has reported its second-consecutive quarterly loss but its revenue topped Wall Street expectations, sending its stock sharply higher. The Seattle-based e-commerce giant Amazon lost $2 billion, or 20 cents per share, in the three-month period ended June 30, driven by a $3.9 billion write-down of the value of its stock investment in electric vehicle start-up Rivian Automotive. It posted revenue of $121.2 billion, topping Wall Street expectations of $119 billion. The results came as the company attempts to navigate shifting consumer demand and higher costs, while curtailing the glut of warehouses it acquired during the COVID-19 pandemic. Its stock rose 12% in after-hours trading.

Copyright © 2022 . All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.