A downgraded economic forecast, a planned debt limit vote, eased travel restrictions, a shakeup in how some restaurants pay their workers, lower travel bookings, child care industry challenges, and a Connecticut submarine manufacturer preparing to potentially build boats for Australia are among the top business news items this morning.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development pared back its May economic forecast and warned that uneven vaccination rates jeopardize global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization revised its 2021 growth forecast from 5.8 percent to 5.7 percent, including a drawback of economic growth in the United States from 6.9 percent to 6 percent.
Congressional Democrats are planning to attach a provision to suspend the debt limit through December 2022 as part of short-term spending bill. The House is expected to vote on the measure this week, but the effort is likely to face stiff Republican resistance in the Senate.
The United States is planning to ease travel restrictions on all foreign travelers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The new rules will go into effect in early November and require travelers to show proof of vaccination upon their arrival.
With food services companies struggling to attract and retain employees, some restaurants are making fundamental changes to how they compensate workers. More eateries are departing from a tipped minimum wage, adopting models such as surcharges to support higher wages for servers and kitchen staff.
The travel industry is facing renewed disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Flight bookings remain significantly below pre-pandemic levels as the Delta variant drives a new surge in cases.
A New York Times article looks at the challenges facing child care businesses, even as adequate child care is regarded as essential for returning more people to the labor force. Hurdles include high hiring standards, low pay, and limited opportunities to collect revenue from tuition without hiring more staff.
General Dynamics Electric Boat, the eastern Connecticut submarine manufacturer, says it has told Navy and government officials that it is ready to assist with a new international agreement to provide Australia with nuclear-powered submarines. The company has not yet been asked to take any specific action, as government officials are still working out the terms and timeline of the agreement.