Democrats Push Biden’s Climate, Health Priorities to Senate OK
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has worked overnight and into the morning as Democrats push their election-year economic package toward passage. The legislation is less ambitious than President Joe Biden’s original national goals. But he embodies deep-rooted party dreams of slowing global warming, moderating pharmaceutical costs and taxing big business. The debate began on Saturday and by breakfast time Sunday, Democrats had crushed more than a dozen Republican efforts to torpedo the legislation. President Joe Biden told reporters at the White House, “I think it’s going to pass.” The House appears on track to provide final congressional approval when it briefly returns from summer recess on Friday.
China July exports rise, with trade surplus at record high
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese export growth continued to rise in July, sending the trade surplus to a record high. According to data from China Customs, Chinese exports rose 18 percent to $333 billion from the same period last year, from 17.9 percent in June. Imports, however, remained weak, rising 2.3% in July from a year ago. The figure was lower than economists’ estimates of 4% and suggests weak domestic demand amid lockdowns across the country as China tries to stem the COVID-19 outbreak. China’s total trade surplus hit a record $101.3 billion in July, beating the record set in June. The economy has rebounded since the start of the year when severe COVID-19 restrictions, including a two-month lockdown in Shanghai, disrupted manufacturing and logistics.
Demand for grocery delivery declines as cost of food rises
US demand for grocery delivery declines as food prices rise. Some shoppers are turning to cheaper grocery pickup, while others are heading back to the store. Experts say grocery delivery saw five years of growth in the first three months of the pandemic. As of June 2020, grocery delivery was a $3.4 billion business. But by June 2022, that had dropped by 26%. Consulting firm Chase Design says getting a delivery premium of less than $10 is difficult because of fuel and labor costs. This premium is hard for some consumers to swallow as food price inflation hits its highest level in four decades.
Quasi-preneurs see opportunities and challenges in franchising
NEW YORK (AP) — In the months since the pandemic, many people in corporate jobs have taken a fresh look at what they do for a living. Some quit their jobs and looked for alternatives, including opening a franchise with an established brand. Quasi-preneurs who open franchises say they like the opportunity to buy a proven brand and access to tools and operations you wouldn’t get if you were starting your own small business. But the franchise also comes with many challenges. There are lots of rules and regulations to follow and long contracts, which can be difficult to get out of.
Musk says Twitter deal could go ahead with ‘bots’ information
Elon Musk said on Saturday his planned $44 billion takeover of Twitter should go ahead if the company can confirm some details about how it measures whether user accounts are “spam bots” or real ones. people. The billionaire and Tesla CEO tried to walk away from his April deal to buy the social media company, leading Twitter to sue him last month to complete the acquisition. Musk counterattacked, accusing Twitter of misleading his team about the true size of its user base and other issues he said amounted to fraud and breach of contract. Both sides are heading to trial in October in a Delaware court.
Transit troubles rise for Boston’s beleaguered subway riders
BOSTON (AP) — For Boston subway riders, it seems like every week brings a new story of transit woe. There have been runaway trains, subway cars belching smoke and fire, fatal accidents, rush hour trains running on weekends and brand new subway cars withdrawn from service. The situation has strained riders’ nerves, prompted a Federal Transit Administration investigation and worried political leaders. One of the most infuriating setbacks came in June when the MBTA temporarily shelved all of its new Orange and Red Line cars. Republican Gov. Charlie Baker says despite the unrest, the vast majority of trips end without drama.
“What recession?” : US employers create 528,000 jobs in July
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers added 528,000 jobs last month despite early signs of an economic slowdown, easing fears of a recession and giving President Joe Biden good news ahead of the election mid-term. Unemployment fell another notch, from 3.6% to 3.5%, matching the more than 50-year low reached just before the pandemic took hold. The economy has now recovered the 22 million jobs lost in March and April 2020 when COVID-19 hit the United States. The searing numbers were reported Friday by the Labor Department. Economists had expected just 250,000 new jobs last month, down from a revised 398,000 in June. Instead, July turned out to be the best month since February.
5 key takeaways from the July jobs report
NEW YORK (AP) — The July jobs report was astonishing, in more ways than one. Despite soaring inflation and worries about a possible recession, employers added 528,000 jobs last month, more than double market expectations. The labor market has now recovered all the jobs lost due to the pandemic recession and the unemployment rate is back to where it was before the pandemic hit. The report shows that hiring continues at a rapid pace, contrary to other signs of a slowdown in the US economy. A strong labor market likely means the Federal Reserve must continue to aggressively raise interest rates to combat decades-high inflation.
Ukrainian grain shipments offer hope, not a solution to food crisis
BEIRUT (AP) — A ship carrying corn to Lebanon offers hope after it was the first to leave a Ukrainian Black Sea port since Russia invaded. The war has threatened food supplies in countries like Lebanon, which has the highest food inflation rate in the world and depends on the Black Sea region for almost all of its wheat. The shipment is a key first step in getting food trapped in Ukraine to Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia where people are hungry. But the small scale means the initial shipments won’t drive down food prices or soon reduce a global food crisis. Experts also say that most trapped grain is for animal feed, not human consumption.
Buffett’s company reports $44 billion loss, but business thrives
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Warren Buffett’s company reported a second-quarter loss of $43.76 billion as the paper value of its investments plummeted. But Berkshire Hathaway’s many operating companies have generally performed well, suggesting that the overall economy is holding up to pressure from inflation and rising interest rates. Berkshire said on Saturday that a largely unrealized decline of $53 billion in the value of its investments forced it to report a loss of nearly $44 billion, or $29,754 per Class A share. Buffett claims that Berkshire’s operating profits are a better measure of company performance because they exclude investment gains and losses. By this measure, Berkshire’s operating profits rose nearly 39% to $9.28 billion, beating Wall Street estimates.