Oil Prices Are Increasing, But Supply Is Not

Oil prices are hovering near $90 a barrel on average, its highest seen since 2014. The sudden cost increase is likely due to political tensions in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, and a supply shortage. Normally, prices this high would call for OPEC to significantly increase oil exports. However, during a meeting this morning, OPEC and...
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Businesses Are Transitioning Away from Checks to Digital Payments, Report Shows

Paper checks continue to be the most popular form of business-to-business (B2B) payment. However, more companies are looking to make the transition toward digital payments than ever before, according to a recent report from the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP).Fewer paper checks are being processed today than reported in 2015, and ACH ...
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What China’s Slowing Economy Means for The Rest of The World

China's economy grew only 4% in the final quarter of 2021, the slowest pace seen since the second quarter of 2020, the New York Times reports. The stall in economic growth is likely due to a drop in property sales, slowed demand and Covid-forced shutdowns. Experts predict other economies will also lose momentum in the near future. "The snapshot of ...
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Global Growth Expected to Slow and Hurt Developing Economies

The global economy had a strong initial rebound following the start of the pandemic. However, as the Omicron variant continues to rapidly spread, the economy is entering a slowdown phase, the World Bank reports."Global growth is expected to decelerate markedly from 5.5 percent in 2021 to 4.1 percent in 2022 and 3.2 percent in 2023 as pent-up demand...
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Supply-Chain Woes Fading, New Indictor Shows

A new barometer from the New York Federal Reserve, called the Global Supply Chain Pressure Index (GSCPI), indicates supply-chain issues may be peaking and could start to moderate. The Fed's new gauge uses different factors to track supply-chain snags, including the Baltic Dry Index, which tracks the cost of shipping materials, and the Harper I...
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Retail Sales Grew at Rapid Pace Despite Supply Chain and Omicron

This holiday season, sales rose at the fastest pace in 17 years, according to the Business Mirror. Despite inflation, shortages and the new Covid-19 strain, US holiday sales grew 8.5%, the news outlet reported.According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, clothing sales rose 47%, jewelry 32% and electronics 16%. "I feel really good about how the seas...
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Will the Omicron Variant Dampen Economic Recovery?

Businesses and consumers are watching closely as the highly contagious Omicron variant raises new questions about economic recovery. Will the new variant force shutdowns like seen in the early days of the pandemic? Will Omicron feed the inflation fire or cool things off instead? "These mutations keep coming," Robin Brooks, chief economist at the In...
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U.S. Congress Raises Debt Ceiling, Avoiding Default Until 2023

The House and Senate voted this morning to increase the federal debt ceiling by $2.5 trillion, allowing the U.S. government to avoid default until early 2023, according to government officials. The vote was made just hours before the deadline that the U.S. government risked breaching its debt limit, said Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.Th...
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Federal Reserve Plans to Ramp Up Fight Against Inflation

Concerns are growing over lingering inflation, prompting the Federal Reserve to consider speeding up its plan to raise interest rates. Federal Reserve officials plan to discuss stopping their bond-buying stimulus program early during a policy meeting next week, according to The Wall Street Journal. Ending the program in March instead of June would ...
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Omicron Variant Could Drive Inflation Even Higher

Stocks took a major hit yesterday as fears over the recently discovered Omicron coronavirus variant brewed. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell also shared before Senate that he no longer believes inflation is "transitory," noting new factors—like Omicron—could mean high inflation will stick around well into next year.Growing concerns abo...
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Global Standard for Classifying Goods to Change Come January

Another factor will soon further complicate the global supply chain crisis and international trade—new harmonized system numbers (known as HS codes). HS codes are the global standard for classifying goods in international trade. Starting Jan. 1, more than 350 global HS codes will be updates and roughly 1,500 U.S. tariff codes will also be chan...
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U.S. and Japan Plan to Form Trade Partnership

The U.S. and Japan set the foundation of a trade partnership today, agreeing to work toward resolving tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. U.S. Trade Representative Katharine Tai and Japan's trade and industry minister also agreed to cooperate toward a "common global-agenda" for trade, according to ABC News."This Partnership will deepen the ...
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White House to Speed Up Infrastructure Upgrades Amid Supply Chain Crisis, Inflation

President Joe Biden announced Tuesday plans to determine and pay for needed upgrades to U.S. ports over the next 90 days, according to the Associated Press. This comes as supply chain disruptions continue to overwhelm major ports across the country and drive inflation. U.S. port authorities will be allowed to reallocate leftover money originally me...
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U.S. Service Sector Hits Record High in October, Manufacturing Continues to Grow

The U.S. service sector grew to a record high in October, the fourth time in 2021, and the manufacturing sector also continued to rise for the 17th consecutive month, according to reports released Wednesday from the Institute of Supply Management (ISM).ISM's survey of the service industry reached a reading of 66.7, up 4.8 points from September...
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G7 Finds Common Ground with Digital Trade and Data Sharing

During a meeting between the Group of Seven wealthy nations (G7) on Friday, a consensus was reached on a set of principles to govern cross-border data use and digital trade. The deal is considered to be a breakthrough as it could free up hundreds of billions of dollars of international commerce. "The deal sets out a middle ground between highly reg...
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US Pushes China to Adopt Trade Reform, Tensions Rise

 The United States accused China of unfair trade practices today during the World Trade Organization (WTO) review, saying the country's industrial policies "skew the playing field" against imported goods and services."We also cannot ignore reports of China's use of forced labor in several sectors," U.S. charge d'affaires David Bisbee told the ...
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Global Trade Rebound Is Strong but Unequal, WTO Say

 The World Trade Organization (WTO) updated its economic forecast for 2021-22 with a more positive outlook for global trade. The WTO now predicts trade will grow 10.8% this year, up from the 8% forecasted in March.However, while overall recovery is strong, many developing regions remain far behind partly due to the lack of vaccine access. "The...
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U.S. Products Could Face New EU Tariffs If Metal Dispute Is Not Resolved

The European Union warned that only one month is left to resolve a metals dispute with the U.S., otherwise new EU tariffs will hit American products starting Dec. 1.An agreement must happen by the beginning of November in order to avoid consequences, said EU trade commissioner, Valdis Dombrovskis, on Bloomberg Television. "We are now working very i...
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Will High Food Prices Lead to Civil Unrest?

 Wholesale food prices like wheat, sugar and vegetable oil have increased by roughly 33% globally since last year, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization. But in some countries, the rising cost of food might be a tipping point – resulting in protests and even war, said Ida Rudolfsen, doctoral researcher at Uppsala University a...
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UK Delays Brexit Border Checks on Food as Grocery Stores Struggle to Stock Shelves

The United Kingdom will postpone the start of Brexit border checks on food imports from the European Union until July 2022, said Brexit minister David Frost in a statement on Tuesday.The goal of delaying some Brexit protocols is to give businesses more time to adjust and prevent the current food shortage in the U.K. from getting worse. Europe suppl...
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