An anticipated acceleration in the Fed’s tapering plans, a vote to lift the debt ceiling, a major jump in wholesale prices, the diminished impact of resume gaps, strong holiday shopping expectations, and the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 vaccines becoming available in Connecticut are among the top business news items this morning.
With inflation persisting and unemployment waning, the Federal Reserve is expected to announce a faster withdrawal of stimulus measures introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The central bank meets today, and could accelerate its tapering of monthly bond purchases as quickly as twice the pace originally proposed.
House Democrats have approved a $2.5 trillion increase to the nation’s debt ceiling over widespread Republican opposition. The vote came shortly before a deadline set by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen for avoiding a default.
Wholesale prices were up 9.6 percent over the previous year in November, the fastest pace since the Labor Department began tracking the information in 2010. The core producer price index, which excludes more volatile measures such as food and energy prices, was up 6.9 percent.
Businesses are more willing to overlook significant gaps in applicants’ resumes, which were once regarded as a red flag. Employers are more understanding in the wake of layoffs occasioned by COVID-19 and more keen on hiring workers as labor shortages persist.
Holiday shopping remains robust despite inflation and concerns about a new COVID-19 variant. The National Retail Federation says it expects 148 million people to shop in stores and online on Super Saturday, the last Saturday before Christmas.
Governor Ned Lamont recognized the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 vaccines becoming available in Connecticut and urged residents to get their booster shots, highlighting several pop-up clinics where doses are available. Connecticut’s daily positivity rate for the virus has been elevated recently and COVID-19 hospitalizations are on the rise.