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Business News Roundup, June 10, 2021

Scrapped orders on Chinese-owned apps, a surge in retail spending, difficulties in breaking into the electric vehicle market, lower jobless claims, higher consumer prices, an approved Connecticut budget, and a special session on the issue of legalizing recreational marijuana in Connecticut are among the top business news items this morning.

National

The Biden administration has revoked executive orders from the Trump administration that attempted to forbid American businesses from conducting transactions with the Chinese-owned apps TikTok and WeChat. However, the administration will also evaluate the potential risks associated with apps tied to foreign adversaries.

Business trends

The National Retail Federation expects a surge in retail spending as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. The trade association believes retail sales will climb between 10.5 percent and 13.5 percent compared to 2020, a major upgrade from its February forecast of 6.5 percent to 8.2 percent.

Lordstown Motors, an electric truck startup, is warning that it could run out of money despite raising $600 million last year. The Wall Street Journal examines how the high capital costs of the electric vehicle industry, which the White House is pushing to expand, are a major challenge to new businesses trying to break into the sector.

Initial jobless claims fell for the sixth straight week, with 376,000 new claims filed last week. A total of 15.3 million people were still receiving ongoing benefits through state or federal programs for the week ending May 22.

Consumer prices rose 0.6 percent in May, a 5 percent year-over-year-increase, to mark the greatest price jump since 2008. The Federal Reserve continues to suggest that inflationary pressures will be temporary, driven by supply chain issues, increasing consumer demand, and labor shortages.

Connecticut

The Connecticut General Assembly has approved a $46.3 billion two-year budget. The budget incorporates $2.28 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funds and increases allocations for areas such as education, health care, and municipal aid.

Matt Ritter, speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives, says the chamber will convene a special session to discuss the question of legalizing recreational marijuana in Connecticut. The measure won approval in the Connecticut Senate, but did not come to a vote in the House before the legislative session closed on Wednesday.

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