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Business News Roundup, April 29, 2021

President Joe Biden lays out an ambitious agenda, improvement in the United States GDP at the start of 2021, dropping jobless claims, increasing commodities prices, and the end of attempts to take over a major Connecticut-based insurer are among the top business news items this morning.


In a joint address before Congress, Biden outlined his plan for $1.8 trillion in social spending, including initiatives such as universal pre-kindergarten access, a national paid family and medical leave program, and efforts to improve access to child care and community college. The proposal marks a third major priority for the Biden administration, alongside previously announced infrastructure and climate initiatives.

The U.S. GDP improved in the first quarter of 2021, increasing 1.6 percent from the previous quarter with 6.4 percent annualized growth. The growth reflects higher consumer spending and eased business restrictions at the start of the year.

Initial jobless claims fell to 553,000 last week, the third consecutive week where new claims have reached a pandemic low. Continuing claims rose slightly for the week ending April 17, from 3.65 million to 3.66 million.

Business trends

Businesses are warning that price hikes are imminent on a variety of products, including food, toilet paper, and baby care products. Companies are making the decision based on higher raw materials cost, which will be passed on to the consumer.


Chubb has abandoned its attempts to acquire the major Connecticut insurer The Hartford after three offers were turned down. The Hartford’s board determined that it was confident enough in the company’s strategic business plan.

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