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Business News Roundup, January 26, 2021

Global growth expectations, the confirmation of Biden’s Treasury Secretary, expected actions on China trade and climate change, and Connecticut job losses are some of the key items in business news this morning.


The International Monetary Fund has released an optimistic forecast for global economic growth this year, anticipating that COVID-19 vaccine distribution will fuel a 5.5 percent expansion – including a 5.1 percent boost in the United States. The global economy shrank by 3.5 percent in 2020, the worst contraction since World War II.


The Senate has confirmed Janet Yellen, President Joe Biden’s pick for Treasury Secretary, in an 84-15 vote. Yellen has been a proponent of strong stimulus efforts to aid the U.S. economic recovery and has also been an advocate for clean energy and other efforts to fight climate change.

Biden has increased his goal for COVID-19 vaccinations, setting a target of 1.5 million doses per day, after the pace of vaccine distribution hit his previously established goal of 1 million doses a day. Biden says he hopes vaccines will be widely available by the spring, with the pandemic brought under control by the summer, but warned that the U.S. is likely to exceed 600,000 deaths from the virus by that point.

Pressure on China is likely to continue under a Biden administration, with analysts noting that Biden is likely to coordinate efforts with U.S. allies on both trade and human rights issues. Biden is reportedly reviewing current restrictions on China while putting primary focus on the domestic issues of COVID-19 and economic relief.

John Kerry, the newly appointed U.S. climate envoy, has told a global climate summit that the Biden administration plans to make up for its four-year absence from the Paris climate accord. Biden rejoined the agreement by executive order during his first hours in office, and Kerry says the administration is planning to announce more ambitious emissions reduction targets soon.


The Connecticut Department of Labor reports that the state had sharper job losses in December, losing 3,400 positions during the month – more than twice the number of jobs lost in November. The job losses are primarily concentrated in the restaurant and hospitality industries, and Connecticut job numbers are more down by more than 100,000 annually.

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