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Business News Roundup, April 1, 2021

A call for billions of dollars in infrastructure investment, higher than expected jobless claims, increased commodity prices, early approval of a regional climate agreement, and an impending wave of Connecticut state employee retirements are among the top business news items this morning.


President Joe Biden has unveiled a $2 trillion plan to invest in United States infrastructure, including upgrades to roads, bridges, ports, airports, broadband internet, and several other areas. The plan calls for billions of dollars in targeted investments and would be funded through an increase in the corporate tax rate and a new minimum tax on the global income of large multinational companies.

Initial jobless claims for the previous week totaled 719,000, an increase from the previous week and a higher number than anticipated by Dow Jones economists. However, claims have been trending downward as COVID-19 vaccinations proceed and business restrictions are eased, and the total number of people on some sort of unemployment benefit plunged 1.5 million to 18.2 million.

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Commodities price increases are beginning to become apparent to customers. Several companies have started to ramp up the cost of their products to pass on the higher costs of raw materials to consumers.


A legislative committee has approved Connecticut’s participation in the regional Transportation and Climate Initiative Program, which would join with Massachusetts and Rhode Island to set up a system to raise funds for clean transportation investments. Advocates say it will help accelerate transportation improvements, while critics question its effectiveness and say it will lead to higher costs for individuals and businesses.

Connecticut is anticipating a major budget savings as thousands of state employees become eligible for retirement in the coming years. Research from a consulting group suggests that the state may be able to realize between $600 million and $900 million in savings; Governor Ned Lamont’s biennial budget for 2022-2023 already includes savings of $175 million due to retirements.

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