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Business News Roundup, Oct. 20, 2021

COVID-19 vaccine expansion to younger children, a look at the labor shortage, a pared back proposal for bank disclosures of customer accounts to the IRS, the American Rescue Plan’s effect on inflation, panic ordering and supply chains, and diminished hotel amenities are among the top business news items this morning.


The White House says Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines will likely be available in a matter of weeks for children between the ages of five and 11. Approval from the Centers for Disease Control is expected soon after an advisory meeting scheduled for Nov. 2-3, with doses set to ship out soon after.

A New York Times article looks into the complex issues involved in a persistent labor shortage affecting several industries, with the United States workforce remaining 5 million people short of its pre-pandemic tally. Factors keeping people from returning to work range from health and child care concerns to a more comfortable savings cushion enabling people to conduct longer job searches and prioritize which positions they’d like to pursue.

Senate Democrats are expected to walk back a proposal that would have required banks to report balances on many customer accounts to the Internal Revenue Service as part of an effort to crack down on tax evaders. The proposal received strong pushback from the banking lobby, and the revised version limits reporting standards to larger accounts.

A Federal Reserve study suggests that the American Rescue Plan passed earlier this year has been a contributor to recent inflation. The report says the stimulus measure came when the U.S. economy was partially recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic and in the midst of strong growth, and that short-term inflation is expected to grow by 0.3 percent through 2022.

Business trends

Panic ordering is helping to contribute to supply chain shortages, according to a supply chain industry specialist. Stockpiling supplies at the local level helps contribute to escalating effects leading back to raw manufacturers, raising the possibility of inaccurate demand forecasts and unfulfilled orders.

Hotel amenities have been shrinking as the hospitality industry continues to cope with a lower volume of travelers, especially business travelers. These include free breakfasts being unavailable during the weekends.

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