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Business News Roundup, March 31, 2021

The unveiling of a national infrastructure plan, a formal extension of the Paycheck Protection Program, good news on a series of economic indicators, and an extension of Governor Ned Lamont’s emergency powers are among the morning’s top business news items.


President Joe Biden is set to unveil an eight-year $2 trillion proposal to bolster infrastructure in the United States today. The wide-ranging plan would include repairs to 20,000 miles of road and 10,000 bridges, along with several other initiatives such as broadband expansion, replacing lead pipes, and workforce training. The plan would be funded by increasing the corporate tax rate to 28 percent for 15 years.

The Paycheck Protection Program deadline has formally been extended after Biden signed a measure overwhelmingly approved in Congress to push back the final date for applications to May 31. The program was previously set to sunset today.

The International Monetary Fund revised its economic growth projections upward on COVID-19 vaccination efforts and the approval of the American Rescue Plan, anticipating that global GDP will increase 5.5 percent this year. However, the IMF also cautioned that there is ongoing uncertainty due to factors such as ongoing COVID-19 challenges and uneven economic recovery.

Private payrolls in March grew at their fastest rate since September, according to the latest monthly report from the payroll processing firm ADP. This data, which is distinct from the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report, shows that private employers added 517,000 positions during the month.

Consumer confidence in March hit its highest point since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rising 19.3 points to 109.7. Respondents to the Conference Board’s survey were more likely to indicate that they plan to purchase expensive items like homes or vehicles, and also showed more optimism about income growth.


The Connecticut Senate voted 24-10 to extend Governor Ned Lamont’s emergency powers to May 20, and the bill now goes to Lamont for his signature. The vote also rejected a Republican amendment seeking to require legislative ratification for any emergency declaration lasting longer than seven days.

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