AP Business SummaryBrief at 8:30 a.m. EDT | Elections

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Powell’s Clear Message: Fighting Inflation Can Cause a Recession

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve on Wednesday delivered its starkest assessment of what it will take to finally get painfully high inflation under control: slower growth, higher unemployment and potentially a recession. Speaking at a press conference, Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged what many economists have been saying for months: that the Fed’s goal of staging a “soft landing” – in which it manages to slow enough growth to dampen inflation but not enough to trigger a recession – seems increasingly unlikely. “The chances of a soft landing,” Powell said, “are likely to diminish” as the Fed steadily raises borrowing costs to curb the worst inflation in four decades.

UK slashes personal and corporate taxes in bid to boost growth

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s new government has announced a sweeping plan of tax cuts it says will be funded by borrowing and revenue generated from anticipated growth, as part of controversial moves to tackle the coronavirus crisis. cost of living and supporting a faltering economy. But Treasury chief Kwasi Kwarteng provided few details on the cost of the program and its impact on the government’s own goals for deficit reduction and borrowing. The government’s two-pronged approach offers short-term relief to homes and businesses struggling with soaring energy costs while betting that lower taxes and less red tape will spur economic growth and boost tax revenue in the years to come. Kwarteng says “we need a new approach for a new era, focused on growth”.

Global stocks slide for 3rd day on economic growth fears

BEIJING (AP) — Global stocks fell for a third day after further rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and other central banks to control inflation raised fears of a possible global recession. London and Frankfurt opened lower. Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul fell. Oil prices fell more than $1 a barrel. The Fed and central banks in Europe and Asia raised rates this week and said more hikes could be on the way to calm inflation that is at its highest in decades. Traders fear it could send the global economy into a painful meltdown.

Spain plans tax hike on millionaires to help those in need

MADRID (AP) — Spain’s Socialist-led coalition government is planning a temporarily higher tax rate for the country’s top 1% starting next year. This is in addition to its windfall taxes on large energy companies and banks. Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said on Friday the change was intended to help fund the welfare state amid difficulties caused by rising energy and food prices. The annual inflation rate jumped to 10.5% in Spain last month. The government says the tax hike only targets millionaires. He says the exact increase and scope of the tax measure is still being worked out.

After 90 years, German bakery closes as energy costs soar

COLOGNE, Germany (AP) — A family bakery in the German city of Cologne is shutting down its ovens for good after 90 years because it can no longer afford rising energy prices resulting from Russia’s war in Ukraine. Engelbert Schlechtrimen’s grandparents founded the bakery before the Second World War and the 58-year-old took it over 28 years ago from his father. His company is one of the casualties of a European energy crisis caused by Russian natural gas cuts. The resulting increases in energy and electricity prices have weighed on businesses already struggling with rising other costs as inflation rises.

A ‘crucial’ vote could tip Italy to the right; many might boycott

ROME (AP) — Italian voters cast their ballots on Sunday in an election seen as crucial as Europe reels from the repercussions of war in Ukraine. Soaring energy costs mean many Italian families and businesses are struggling to stay afloat. Opinion polls indicate that Giorgia Meloni’s far-right Brothers of Italy party could be the biggest vote-giver, just ahead of former Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s centre-left Democratic Party. But a strong campaign alliance linking Meloni to his conservative allies gives him the edge in determining who governs. Meloni would be Italy’s first far-right prime minister and the first post-war woman. But experts say this Italian election could also set another record – that of the lowest voter turnout ever.

Protesters fear the impacts of climate change and demand help for the poor

BERLIN (AP) — Young activists have staged a coordinated “global climate strike” to highlight fears about the effects of global warming and demand more aid for poor countries affected by savage weather. Protesters took to the streets of Jakarta, Tokyo and Berlin on Friday carrying banners and posters with slogans such as “We are concerned about the climate crisis” and “It’s not too late”. The protests were organized by the Fridays for Future youth movement which was inspired by activist Greta Thunberg, who started protesting alone outside the Swedish parliament in 2018. Thousands of people attended the rally in Berlin, which included calls for the German government to establish a 100 billion euro (dollar) Fund to fight climate change.

Bank CEOs interviewed on consumer protection and social issues

NEW YORK (AP) — The CEOs of the nation’s biggest banks returned to Capitol Hill for a second day Thursday, and Senate Democrats urged them to do more to help and protect their customers, while Republicans wondered whether banks were to weigh in on hot-button social issues. Bank executives testified at a time when prices for food and other basic necessities are the highest in decades. JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon, Citigroup’s Jane Fraser and five other CEOs repeated the message they gave to a House panel on Wednesday: The US consumer is in relatively good shape but faces threats of high inflation and rising interest rates.

Revamped Detroit auto show now also features new flight tech

DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Auto Show is back in full force. And a flight. The prestigious North American International Auto Show last took place in 2019. It returned last week. Visitors can once again peek at the latest offerings from some of the world’s biggest automakers. But now they can also experience what organizers call “the show above the show.” The Air Mobility Experience features exhibits and demonstrations of six air mobility innovators, including an electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft, hoverbike, hoverboard and jet suit. The show runs through Sunday at a downtown convention center.

Ukrainian regions held by Moscow in ‘fictitious’ vote to join Russia

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Voting has begun in Ukrainian regions controlled by Russia on referendums to become part of Russia. The Kremlin-orchestrated referendums, which have been widely denounced by Ukraine and the West as shams without any legal force, are seen as a step towards Russia’s annexation of the territories. The votes are taking place in the regions of Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk, partly controlled by Russia. On Friday, Ukrainian officials reported more evidence of possible war crimes. The governor of the Kharkiv region, which was mainly held by Russian forces ahead of a Ukrainian counteroffensive this month, said 436 bodies had been exhumed from a mass burial site in the eastern city of Izium, 30 of whom showed visible signs of torture.

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