High inflation, low budget deficit

WASHINGTON (AP) – Inflation surged at its fastest pace in nearly 40 years last month, spiking 7% from a year earlier that is increasing household spending, eating away at wage gains and exerting pressure on President Joe Biden and the Federal Reserve to tackle what has become the greatest threat to the US economy. Prices rose sharply in 2021 for cars, gasoline, food and furniture as part of a rapid recovery from the pandemic recession. Price gains could slow further as problems in supply chains ease, but most economists say inflation will not fall back to pre-pandemic levels anytime soon.

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United States posted smallest monthly deficit in 2 years in December

WASHINGTON (AP) – The federal government posted its smallest monthly budget deficit in two years last month. This was thanks to a recovering economy that helped boost tax revenues, coupled with slowing spending as some COVID assistance programs ended. The Treasury Department reported that the $ 21.3 billion deficit in December was the smallest monthly deficit since a $ 13 billion shortfall in December 2019. This was before the COVID pandemic hit Canadians. United States and put millions of people out of work, plunging the economy into crisis. but strong recession. For the first three months of this fiscal year, the government recorded a deficit of $ 377.7 billion, 30.1% lower than the same period a year ago.

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Fed survey reveals modest economic growth despite COVID

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve said the economy was growing at a modest pace at the end of 2021, but was still held back by persistent supply chain disruptions and labor shortages. ‘work. In its latest survey of business conditions in the country, the Fed said its 12 regional banks found the economy to continue to grow. But many districts have reported a sudden drop in spending on leisure travel, hotels and restaurants due to the rapid spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus. The Fed’s investigation, known as the Beige Book, will form the basis for discussions at the next central bank meeting on January 25-26.

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Stocks rise as inflation report keeps rate hikes on track

NEW YORK (AP) – Shares closed higher on Wall Street on Wednesday after the latest report on the surge in prices appears to keep the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates later this year. The S&P 500 rose 0.3%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1%, and the Nasdaq rose 0.2%. Tech stocks led the market higher. Inflation jumped 7% last month, its fastest annual pace in nearly four decades, but in line with economists’ forecasts. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell told Congress on Tuesday that the Fed was prepared to hike rates to fight inflation. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bill edged down to 1.73%.

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US shoppers find some grocery stores scarce due to virus and weather

NEW YORK (AP) – Shortages at U.S. grocery stores have worsened in recent weeks. New issues like the fast-spreading omicron variant and extreme weather are piling up in supply chain struggles and labor shortages that have plagued retailers since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Shortages are widespread, affecting produce and meat as well as packaged goods such as cereals. And they are being reported all over the country. American grocery stores typically have 5% to 10% of their items out of stock at some point. According to the Consumer Brands Association, the downtime rate hovers around 15%. Experts are divided on how long grocery shopping can sometimes feel like a scavenger hunt.

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Biogen tumbles after Medicare implements Aduhelm coverage plan

NEW YORK (AP) – Shares of Biogen fell on Wednesday, a day after regulators placed strict limits on coverage for the drugmaker’s new Alzheimer’s disease treatment. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said on Tuesday that patients taking Biogen’s Aduhelm will need to participate in clinical trials to assess the drug’s effectiveness so Medicare can cover the cost. This is an important caveat because Medicare should cover most patients who opt for Aduhelm, and the drug can cost up to $ 28,000 per year, not including expenses for brain scans and the like. care that patients will need while taking it.

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Interior holds auction for offshore wind power in NY, NJ

TRENTON, NJ (AP) – The Biden administration has announced that it will hold its first offshore wind energy auction next month. It offers nearly 500,000 acres off the coasts of New York and New Jersey for wind power projects that could produce enough electricity to power nearly 2 million homes. Home Secretary Deb Haaland said the February 23 auction in the New York Bight area will allow offshore wind developers to bid on six rental areas, the largest number ever offered in an auction. offshore wind auctions. The auction comes as the administration announced a series of clean energy actions on Wednesday, including measures to speed up reviews of solar, onshore wind and geothermal energy projects.

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Mexico: the sale of Citibank poses “delicate” antimonopoly problems

MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexican authorities say they will closely monitor Citigroup’s plan to sell its Mexican subsidiary, Citibanamex, noting that the transaction poses “delicate” regulatory issues. Citibanamex is Mexico’s third-largest bank, and regulators are apparently concerned that whoever acquires it will gain too much of the banking market. The country’s Treasury Department said on Wednesday that “the exit of such a large retail bank (…) poses difficult questions for financial and regulatory authorities (…) including the fundamental issue of market concentration” . Citigroup said on Tuesday it would sell or list its retail banking business in Mexico, as part of a global strategy.

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The S&P 500 gained 13.28 points, or 0.3%, to 4,726.35. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 38.30 points, or 0.1%, to 36,290.32. The Nasdaq added 34.94 points, or 0.2%, to 15,188.39. The Russell 2000 Small Business Index fell 17.95 points, or 0.8%, to 2,176.06.

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