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Business News Roundup, July 15, 2021

Higher than expected inflation, falling jobless claims, expanded remote work options, lagging renewable implementation, digital health investments, an extension of emergency powers in Connecticut, and lower taxes for Connecticut beer are among the top business news items this morning.


Speaking before House of Representatives, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged that inflation has been higher than expected and more persistent. However, Fed officials still expect that the trend will ease later in the year.

After an unexpected uptick the previous week, initial jobless claims fell to another pandemic low last week with 360,000 new filings. More than 13.8 million people remained on some sort of unemployment benefit as of June 26.

Business trends

Remote work arrangements have generally been associated with white-collar office jobs and other “knowledge” positions that can be done more easily through virtual means. However, the trend is also spreading to other sectors as well, including certain roles in logistics, retail, and construction companies.

Although renewable energy sources have been growing, the International Energy Agency says in a recent report that its implementation is not keeping up with growing demand for electricity. The IEA anticipates that renewables will cover about half of the demand in 2021 and 2022, with fossil fuels accounting for about 45 percent.

Companies specializing in digital services for the health care industry have seen increased interest from investors after the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted deficiencies in this area. The funding is helping startups and early-stage companies expand, but has also raised concerns that this market may be getting overheated.


A special meeting of the Connecticut General Assembly has extended Governor Ned Lamont’s emergency powers through Sept. 30. Although Connecticut has largely lifted its COVID-19 restrictions, Lamont sought to extend 11 executive orders.

Taxes on beer will be reduced by 16.7 percent starting on July 1, 2023. While the change is anticipated to cost Connecticut $2 million in tax revenue, it also aims to bolster the economic impact of the state’s craft brewers.

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