Business This Week | The Economist

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America Annual inflation The interest rate stood at 5.3% in August, down slightly from 13-year highs in the previous two months. There was evidence that inflationary pressures could level off, such as lower prices for used cars, which drove some of this year’s inflation due to supply chain issues in vehicle production. new. Britain’s inflation rate, meanwhile, fell from 2% to 3.2%, in part due to an increase in the cost of restaurant meals, which was artificially lowered a year ago by a program pandemic government that subsidized restaurant meals. In Canada, inflation reached 4.1%, the highest in 18 years.

Soaring energy price are a factor in increasing inflation. Natural gas prices have reached new highs in Europe for a variety of reasons, including a shortage of supply before next winter. In Spain, where consumer energy costs have skyrocketed, the government wants to seize what it calls “excess profits” from utility companies to reduce household bills.

The controversial Nord Stream 2 the pipeline has been completed, allowing Russia to bypass Ukraine and pump more gas to Europe. Russia says it can start delivering gas once the “remaining formalities” have been completed.

CMA CGM, one of the world’s largest container shipping companies, took the industry by surprise by announcing a five-month cap on spot rates for sea ​​freight. The cost of shipping a large standard container is four times higher than a year ago for a number of reasons, including congestion at ports. CMA CGM describes this as an “unprecedented situation” and caps prices to satisfy customers.

Back on track

The long-term battle to take over Kansas City South appeared to have reached the end of the line when the freight rail company, which operates in America and Mexico, accepted a $ 31 billion offer from Canadian Pacific. He had made an agreement with the Canadian National, CP, but the US Surface Transportation Board didn’t like the structure of the deal.

A California federal judge has delivered his verdict in the closely watched legal battle between Epic games and Apple. This was mostly, but not entirely, good news for Apple. The judge said Epic had failed to prove its central claim that Apple was abusing its dominant position in the market by charging developers commissions of up to 30%. But she ruled that Apple had broken California law and ordered it to allow app developers to offer customers alternative payment options outside of Apple’s ecosystem. Epic is appealing the decision.

Goldman Sachs expanded its consumer-oriented business by agreeing to buy Green sky, a platform that focuses on providing loans for home improvement, for $ 2.2 billion.

There was more evidence of the recent downturn in China’s economy, caused in part by epidemics of covid-19. Retail sales rose 2.5% in August, year on year, well below economists’ average forecast of 7%. Industrial production rose 5.3% on the same basis, which was also below expectations.

The crisis worsened at Evergrande, one of the biggest Chinese real estate developers, who warned that he could default on his debt. His recent sales have fallen by half, which he blamed on speculative reporting about his future; it called on specialists to assess its liquidity. Protesters have taken up residence in front of Evergrande’s headquarters in Shenzhen.

The stock prices of the big casino operators in Macau plunged, after Chinese territory began a consultation process on revising gambling laws. Macau is the only place in China where gambling is legal. Casino concessions must be renewed and the industry fears the consultation could lead to government restrictions, similar to the crackdown that has hit tech companies.

A problem of diversity

PwVS UK, one of the Big Four firms providing professional and accounting services, released data on the class background of its employees for the first time, which shows that only 14% come from a lower socio-economic household. The company’s median pay gap for this group, at 12.1%, is wider than for women, 10.1%, and blacks, 1.1%.

EspaceX launched one of its Florida Dragon capsules into space, sending the very first civilian crew into Earth orbit. The Inspiration4 mission, funded by a fintech entrepreneur, is this year’s most ambitious adventure in space tourism, soaring further into space and circling the planet for three days.

In an independent but ambitious effort to advance the technology, German researchers have found a way to toilet cows in the hope of reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. Cattle were taught to urinate in a designated pen, where their urine could be easily processed.

This article appeared in the The World This Week section of the print edition under the headline “Business This Week”


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