AP Business SummaryBrief at 11:46 p.m. EDT

Biden touts inflation reduction law despite sobering report

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has gathered a crowd at the White House to celebrate last month’s passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. But that’s as a new government report on Tuesday showed how hard it could be to return inflation to prepandemic levels. Despite its name, the law’s impact on inflation is expected to be modest at best. Although gasoline costs have declined since June,...

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Biden touts inflation reduction law despite sobering report

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has gathered a crowd at the White House to celebrate last month’s passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. But that’s as a new government report on Tuesday showed how hard it could be to return inflation to prepandemic levels. Despite its name, the law’s impact on inflation is expected to be modest at best. Although gasoline costs have declined since June, the price of housing and food remain especially high in a way that suggests there will be further Federal Reserve interest rate hikes and more economic pain to bring down prices.

US inflation still stubbornly high despite August slowdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lower gas costs slowed U.S. inflation for a second straight month in August, but most other prices across the economy kept rising — evidence that inflation remains a heavy burden for American households. Consumer prices rose 8.3% from a year earlier and 0.1% from July. But the jump in “core” prices, which exclude volatile food and energy costs, was especially worrisome. It outpaced expectations and ignited fear that the Federal Reserve will boost interest rates more aggressively and raise the risk of a recession. Fueled by high rents, medical care and new cars, core prices leaped 6.3% for the year ending in August and 0.6% from July to August, the government said Tuesday.

China keeps West guessing about economic pressure on Russia

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese leader Xi Jinping is keeping the West guessing about whether Beijing will cooperate with tougher sanctions on Moscow as he meets President Vladimir Putin a year after declaring a “no limits” friendship ahead of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. China has avoided violating sanctions but spent almost 60% more on importing Russian oil and gas in August than a year earlier. That tops up Moscow’s cash flow after Western nations cut purchases and expelled Russia from the global banking system. The Group of Seven major economies want to squeeze Moscow by imposing price caps on its exports. That requires cooperation from China, India and other energy-hungry Asian economies that are buying from Russia at a discount.

Whistleblower: China, India had agents working for Twitter

WASHINGTON (AP) — Twitter’s former security chief told Congress Tuesday there was “at least one agent” from China’s intelligence service on Twitter’s payroll — and that the company knowingly allowed India to add agents to the company roster as well. These were some of the troubling revelations from Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, a respected cybersecurity expert and Twitter whistleblower who appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee to lay out his allegations against the company. Zatko, who was fired earlier this year, said Twitter’s leadership is “misleading the public, lawmakers, regulators and even its own board of directors.”

Asian shares fall, tracking Wall St dismay over price data

Asian markets have skidded lower after Wall Street fell the most since June 2020 as a report showed inflation has kept a surprisingly strong grip on the U.S. economy. Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 2.8% in early trading Wednesday, while Seoul’s Kospi declined 2.5%. On Tuesday, the Dow lost more than 1,250 points and the S&P 500 sank 4.3%. The hotter-than-expected report on inflation Tuesday has traders bracing for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates still more, adding to risks for the economy. Still, the drop didn’t quite knock out the market’s gains over the past four days.

Starbucks to revamp stores to speed service, boost morale

Starbucks plans to spend $450 million next year to make its North American stores more efficient and less complex. The company also said it plans to open 2,000 net new stores in the U.S. by 2025. The emphasis will be on meeting the growing demand for drive-thru and delivery. Starbucks recently saw the best week for sales in its 51-year history when it introduced its latest fall drinks. But it says stores need better equipment to make drinks more quickly. Among the things driving the revamp is an ongoing unionization effort, which Starbucks opposes. More than 230 U.S. stores have voted to unionize since late last year.

California 1st to make firms disclose social media policies

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California will impose first-of-its-kind requirements on social media companies to publish their policies for removing disturbing content including hate speech, with details on how and when they remove that content. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday that he had signed the bill. He said social media has been weaponized to spread hate and disinformation. A coalition of the bill’s opponents have said the companies already must make their content moderation policies public. Critics also objected to the bill’s requirement that companies disclose sensitive information to the state attorney general. But the bill had bipartisan support from lawmakers. It advanced after stalling last year over free speech issues.

UN: Food exports from Ukraine are up, Russia fertilizer down

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. says food exports from Ukraine and Russia have increased since a July 22 grain deal, but critically needed fertilizer exports from Russia are still down despite the agreement. Insurance, financing and shipping remain issues. U.N. trade chief Rebeca Grynspan, said Tuesday that Russia reported a 12% increase in food exports from June to July. But she said while there has been “important progress,” the U.N. is concerned about fertilizer exports needed by October-November for the northern hemisphere planting season. She warned of a “catastrophic crisis” if fertilizer remains unaffordable for many.

Union, GE reach deal on raises at Massachusetts plant

LYNN, Mass. (AP) — The largest union representing General Electric Co. workers says it’s reached a tentative deal with the company to speed up pay raises for workers at a Massachusetts aviation plant. Under the agreement, workers at GE’s facility in Lynn would be eligible for raises sooner and could reach the top pay rate after six years, instead of up to 10 under the old system. GE has already implemented an accelerated raise schedule at plants in New Hampshire and Vermont. IUE-CWA Local 201, the union that negotiated the deal, called it a “massive win” for workers.

As data centers proliferate, neighbors knock the noise

MANASSAS, Va. (AP) — Northern Virginia has established itself as the world’s largest home for data centers. But residents are starting to push back against their proliferation, voicing concerns over noise and other issues. The demand only grows as as cloud computing expands exponentially. The data centers have been a tax-generating boon for local governments, but their neighbors can’t escape the noise of constantly whirring fans needed to keep the computers cool. Industry groups say they’re designing new centers to address environmental concerns. A recent study shows northern Virginia has more data centers than the next 5 largest U.S. markets combined.

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