A lower economic growth forecast, ongoing inflation, legislative approval of a short-term debt ceiling deal, conflicting COVID-19 vaccine directives in Texas, higher inflation expectations, the potential for bioscience growth in New Haven, and skilled ex-inmates finding work at Connecticut manufacturers are among the top business news items this morning.
The International Monetary Fund has lowered its global growth forecast slightly from 6 percent in July to 5.9 percent, warning that factors like the persistence of COVID-19 and inflation could be hindering economic recovery. The forecast for growth in the United States economy was lowered from 7 percent to 6 percent.
The Consumer Price Index was up 5.4 percent on an annual basis in September, up slightly from 5.3 percent in August and matching the gains in June and July. Core inflation rose 0.2 percent and was up 4 percent from the previous year.
The House of Representatives has approved a short-term deal to raise the debt ceiling, sending the measure to President Joe Biden for final approval. The legislation enables the Treasury Department to continue paying its bills until about Dec. 3.
Business COVID-19 vaccine mandates are being put to the test in Texas as companies find themselves subject to an executive order barring such mandates and a federal effort to require vaccinations at companies with at least 100 employees. Some large Texas-based businesses have said they will defy Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order and continue requiring their employees to get the vaccine.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Survey of Consumer Expectations show that consumers’ three-year inflation expectations climbed to 4.2 percent in September, the highest point since 2013. The result indicates that consumers are girding for longer term inflation despite expectations among Fed officials that the trend will ease.
A panel of bioscience leaders said they see high growth potential for the field in New Haven. Though panelists said there are challenges in moving past the startup phase and bringing discoveries to market, they also identified local resources like ample incubator and laboratory space as advantageous.
Recently released inmates who completed job training programs while incarcerated are providing an unlikely source of skilled labor for some Connecticut manufacturers. Advocates say such hires help manufacturers meet their need for workers while reducing the likelihood of recidivism among former prisoners.