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Business News Roundup, April 30, 2021

A spike in inflation, higher incomes and consumer spending, a poll on employer policies regarding COVID-19 vaccines, and a drop in vaccine demand in Connecticut are among the top business news items this morning.


The Personal Consumption Expenditures price index, a popular inflationary measure, more than doubled in the first quarter of 2021 from 1.7 percent to 3.5 percent. The price growth reflects strong economic growth in the quarter, although it remains to be seen whether the inflationary spike will be temporary or sustained.

Commerce Department data shows record income growth in March as well as the fastest pace in consumer spending in nine months, reflecting the impact of $1,400 stimulus payments made under the American Rescue Plan. Incomes in March rose 21.1 percent, while consumer spending increased 4.2 percent.

Worker wages made their strongest gains in 13 years in the first quarter of 2021, according to the Labor Department. Total compensation increased 0.9 percent, likely a result of employers offering higher salaries in order to attract qualified workers.

Business trends

A majority of employers in a recent study from Arizona State University and the Rockefeller Foundation finds that more than 60 percent of companies will require employees to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination in order to return to an in-person workplace. About two-thirds said they plan to offer incentives to encourage workers to get vaccinated.


Demand for COVID-19 vaccines in Connecticut has fallen by 50 percent in the past two weeks, with state officials placing renewed focus on urging younger residents to get vaccinated. According to the state’s most recent data, more than 3 million doses have been administered in Connecticut including 1.32 million people who are fully vaccinated.

The Women’s Business Development Council has issued 44 grants totaling $400,000 to women-owned businesses in Connecticut. The grants were made through the WBDC’s Equity Match Grant Program, which assists entrepreneurs in meeting economic challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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