The Treasury Secretary hopes for inflation to return to normal levels by the end of the year, a Federal Reserve report on digital currency, manufacturers’ resilience in the face of Omicron, a decline in COVID-19 cases in Connecticut, and the introduction of two walk-in manufacturing training centers in Connecticut are among the top business news items this morning.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen defended the Biden administration’s economic record in a CNBC interview, noting strong labor gains in the past year as the economic recovery continues in the United States. Yellen said she hopes that efforts to control the COVID-19 pandemic will help ease inflation and return it to the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent target by the end of the year.
The Federal Reserve has released a report on the advantages and disadvantages of creating a digital dollar, though it also stressed that the report is not intended to support a policy position on the issue. The Fed is seeking public comment on 22 different items brought up in the analysis.
Manufacturers remain upbeat despite the recent wave of COVID-19 infections, according to the Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s index of manufacturing conditions. Businesses in the Philadelphia area said orders are up and employment is holding steady, though supply prices remain high despite signs of improving supply chain conditions.
Governor Ned Lamont said COVID-19 cases in Connecticut are on the decline after the Omicron variant sparked an increase in infections, hospitalizations, and deaths in recent months. Lamont also asked that the legislature consider a brief extension of his emergency powers, which are currently set to expire on Feb. 15.
Goodwin University has announced a partnership with the city of Hartford to create two walk-in training centers for Hartford residents to develop manufacturing skills. The centers are designed to provide students with skills necessary to meet increased demand for workers in Connecticut’s manufacturing industry.