A boost to oil production, the Treasury Secretary’s comments on inflation, elevated COVID-19 infections in Connecticut, and a delay to return-to-office plans at a major Hartford employer are among the top business news items this morning.
OPEC and Russia have agreed to increase oil production, hiking it by a collective 400,000 barrels in January. The petroleum-producing nations are hoping that demand will remain robust this winter despite concerns about the emerging COVID-19 Omicron variant.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen acknowledged that inflation will be a more long-term issue than anticipated earlier this year, with the emergence of new COVID-19 variants complicating the economic recovery in the United States. She also warned against the possibility of a wage-price spiral, where increasing wages reinforce price hikes.
Connecticut again recorded an elevated level of COVID-19 infections, with its daily test positivity rate reaching 6.52 percent on Thursday. Hospitalizations also climbed to 414, with 44 new deaths reported.
The Hartford, an insurance company and major Hartford employer, is delaying its return-to-office plans due to concerns about the Omicron variant. The company is postponing plans for senior leaders to return to the workplace by Dec. 6, but is still looking to keep its previously announced timetable to bring workers back by Jan. 18.