Highlights: consumer prices, budget deficit
US consumer prices rose in July but at a slower pace
WASHINGTON (AP) – Prices for U.S. consumers rose last month but at the slowest pace since February, a sign that Americans may get some relief after four months of sharp hikes that have brought inflation up to its pace on faster in over a decade. Wednesday’s report from the Ministry of Labor showed that consumer prices rose 0.5% from June to July, slower than the previous monthly increase of 0.9%. They jumped 5.4% from a year earlier. Excluding volatile oil and gas prices, core inflation rose 4.3% over the past year, down from 4.5% in June, which was the fastest 12-month pace since 1991 .
Biden team looks for ways to deal with rising energy prices
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden’s administration travels around the country and abroad to try to address concerns over rising energy prices slowing the country’s recovery from pandemic-induced recession . National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan calls on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to act faster to restore the world’s oil supply to pre-pandemic levels. And the White House has asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the domestic gasoline market for any anti-competitive behavior that could raise prices. The joint actions come as the Biden administration is increasingly sensitive to rising prices in the economy as it faces the political and political pressure of inflation.
No more red ink: US budget deficit through July reached $ 2.54 billion
WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. budget deficit reached $ 2.54 trillion for the first 10 months of this fiscal year, fueled by spending to support the country after the pandemic-induced recession. The numbers keep the deficit on track to become the second-largest annual deficit in U.S. history, behind the last fiscal year that ended on September 30. Still, the Treasury Department reported on Wednesday that the deficit through July was 9.5% lower than the same period. one year ago. This reflected improved tax collection as the economy recovered and the end of many of the emergency support programs put in place after the pandemic struck in March of last year.
COVID variant causes Southwest to lower hopes for third quarter profit
DALLAS (AP) – Southwest Airlines has said it no longer expects to be profitable in the third quarter. His darker predictions come as an increase in COVID-19 infections fueled by the highly contagious delta variant darkens travel prospects. The airline said in a regulatory filing that it was profitable in July. But he said he believed the recent negative effects of the pandemic on income trends in August and September would make third quarter profitability difficult. This is without taking into account the benefit of the temporary relief provided by the proceeds of the government payroll support program.
Samsung cuts prices to boost sales of foldable phones
SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) – Samsung is hoping cheaper but more durable versions of its foldable phones will broaden the appeal of a premium design that has so far fizzled out with consumers. The electronics giant kicked off its efforts to turn the tide on Wednesday with the unveiling of two products designed to function as both a phone and a tablet when unfolded outward on a hinge. The larger Galaxy Fold3 will sell for 10% less than last year’s $ 1,800 model while the Galaxy Flip3 will sell for over 25% less at $ 1,000. But at least the analyst thinks those prices are still too high to boost lackluster sales of foldable devices.
S&P 500, Dow industrialists set records but Nasdaq lags behind
NEW YORK (AP) – Shares closed largely higher on Wall Street on Wednesday, setting more records for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Weakness in some tech stocks helped pull the Nasdaq composite down slightly. The S&P 500 climbed 0.2% and the Dow Jones 0.6%. Investors got better news on inflation when the Labor Department announced that consumer prices rose 0.5% from June to July, down from the previous monthly increase of 0.9% . Energy prices rose, pushing the benchmark US crude oil price up 1.4%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bill slipped to 1.33%.
Severe drought devastates Washington state wheat crop
ROCKFORD, Washington (AP) – A drought in eastern Washington, the worst since 1977, has devastated what is normally the fourth largest wheat crop in the United States. The soft white winter wheat grown in the region is prized in Asian countries because it is excellent for making pastries, cakes, cookies and noodles. About 10 percent of Washington’s wheat comes from irrigated land and the remainder comes from rain, which has been scarce this year. Authorities estimate this year’s crop will produce 117 million bushels, up from 165 million bushels last year. Many Washington farmers have crop insurance that covers up to 80% of losses. But some do not and could go bankrupt.
Polish lawmakers pass bill seen as limiting media freedom
WARSAW, Poland (AP) – The Polish parliament on Wednesday voted in favor of a bill that would force Discovery Inc., the U.S. owner of Poland’s largest private television network, to sell its Polish stakes and is widely seen as an attack on the independence of the media in Poland. The bill would prevent non-EU owners from having controlling stakes in Polish media companies. In practice, this only concerns TVN, which includes TVN24, a news channel that criticizes the right-wing nationalist government and has denounced the wrongdoing of the Polish authorities.
The S&P 500 gained 10.95 points, or 0.2%, to 4,447.70. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 220.30 points, or 0.6%, to 35,484.97. The Nasdaq lost 22.95 points, or 0.2%, to 14,765.14. The Russell 2000 Small Business Index added 10.98 points, or 0.5%, to 2,250.34.