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Business News Roundup, March 18, 2021

A delay in this year’s tax deadline, the Fed holds steady on interest rates, a spike in jobless claims, a “peak gasoline” declaration, slow jobs recovery, and a plan to rebuild Connecticut’s unemployment fund are among the morning’s top business news items.


The Internal Revenue Service has delayed this year’s tax filing deadline from April 15 to May 17. The move follows the passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which puts the IRS under unusual strain since it is charged with processing stimulus payments approved in the bill.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says the Fed will keep rates near zero, but will be prepared to adjust monetary policy if an economic recovery leads to a spike in inflation. The Fed could also make policy changes in response to other risks, such as labor market or public health troubles.

Jobless claims rose unexpectedly last week, with 770,000 new claims despite hopes that an economic rebound will accelerate as COVID-19 vaccines are distributed. Continuing claims held steady at 4.1 million, with a total of 18.2 million on some form of unemployment assistance.

Business trends

The International Energy Agency says it expects the world has reached “peak gasoline” due to trends such as the increasing adoption of electric vehicles and the improving efficiency of vehicles with internal combustion engines. The IEA says it expects that these trends will counteract higher demand for gasoline in developing nations.

An analysis by the business site Insider finds that jobs recovery will likely take more than a year for half of the states in the nation. The site based its calculations on the six-month averages for employment growth between July 2020 and January 2021.


Governor Ned Lamont’s plan for rebuilding Connecticut’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund would establish higher contributions from larger companies while establishing tax relief for small businesses. The update would expand the taxable wage base cap used to determine contributions while also reducing the number of people able to draw benefits from the fund.

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