A debt ceiling warning, advocacy for a shortened work week, small business challenges in implementing COVID-19 vaccine mandates, greater Connecticut bank profits, and a boost to Connecticut GDP are among the top business news items this morning.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is warning that the U.S. economy could fall into a recession if Congress does not take action to address the debt ceiling within two weeks. The Treasury has been using emergency “extraordinary measures” to pay its bills since reaching the last debt ceiling at the end of July, but Yellen forecasts that the federal government will not be able to continue making payments around Oct. 18.
A recent NPR interview with researcher Will Stronge looks at the potential benefits of revising the traditional five-day work week. Stronge argues that shortening the work week comes with challenges, but would also result in benefits such as better productivity and worker satisfaction.
Smaller businesses are facing greater uncertainties in their ability to enforce COVID-19 vaccine mandates. While some companies have successfully taken this step, others are seeking to avoid potential business disruptions by encouraging vaccination rather than requiring it.
Profits at Connecticut banks nearly doubled in the first half of 2021, according to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. At the same time, loan portfolios have shrunk as business borrowers continue to face challenging conditions such as supply chain disruptions.
Connecticut’s GDP rose 5.9 percent in the second quarter of the year, led by growth in the hospitality and information sectors. GDP rose by about 1 percent or contracted in other sectors.