NEW YORK (AP) – Buyers backed by strong hires, healthy salary earnings and substantial savings are returning to stores and splurging on all types of items. But the big question is how much supply shortages, higher prices and staffing issues will dampen shoppers’ moods this holiday season. Shoppers, already tired of pandemic-induced social distancing policies and other setbacks, can get cranky if they can’t find the help they need in stores, or can’t find their premier item. choice. They may also be disappointed with some of the meager vacation discounts. Still, don’t forget the resilience of shoppers who have shown they want to celebrate the holidays after last year’s muted celebrations.
European Christmas markets open with caution as COVID cases rise
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – Some of Europe’s Christmas markets are opening cautiously amid rising coronavirus infections. In Germany, the picturesque Frankfurt market is opened up to a larger area to reduce crowds. Budapest markets are closed and customers must show proof of vaccination. It’s a huge relief for traders to be open after losing their Christmas business last year despite the restrictions. An ornament seller says he can cover his bills if he can stay open for three weeks. But that’s not sure after two regions in Germany shut down their markets and Austria shut down amid a 10-day nationwide lockdown. With the closures, the money tourists would spend on restaurants, hotels and other businesses is gone.
Global stocks are mixed after Fed says readiness to act on inflation
BEIJING (AP) – Global equity markets are higher after Federal Reserve officials indicated they were ready to hike interest rates earlier than expected if needed to calm U.S. inflation. London, Tokyo, Frankfurt and Hong Kong advanced while Shanghai retreated. US markets have been closed for a holiday. Notes from the Fed’s October policy meeting showed officials said they “would not hesitate” to respond to inflation. This has fueled investor fears that the Fed and other central banks may feel pressure to withdraw the economic stimulus that has pushed up stock prices.
Americans spend but inflation weighs on the economy
WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans are the main driver of the US economy – spending – but accelerating inflation is casting a veil. A series of published economic data showed the economy to be strong, with Americans’ incomes rising and jobless claims falling to levels not seen since The Beatles were still together. However, soaring prices for everything from gasoline to rent will likely be the primary economic indicator Americans discuss at Thanksgiving dinner. The Commerce Department said U.S. consumer spending rebounded 1.3% in October. And this despite inflation which, over the past year, has accelerated faster than it has ever been in more than three decades.
Russia: the death toll from the explosion of a coal mine in Siberia is increased to 52
MOSCOW (AP) – Russian officials say 52 miners and rescuers have died after a devastating explosion at a Siberian coal mine about 250 meters (820 feet) underground. Hours after a methane explosion and fire filled the mine with toxic fumes, rescuers found 14 bodies, but were then forced to stop the search for 38 more due to a build-up of methane and d ‘a high concentration of carbon monoxide. State news agencies Tass and RIA-Novosti quoted emergency officials as saying there was no chance of finding more survivors. The Interfax news agency quoted a representative of the regional administration who also put the death toll in Thursday’s blaze at 52, while 239 were rescued.
This worker has obtained unemployment benefits; Virginie wants them back
ABINGDON, Va. (AP) – A man in Virginia is fighting to keep $ 9,000 in state unemployment benefits paid to him when his compressor plant closed in 2018. The Virginia Employment Commission is trying to recover these allowances. Ernest Ray’s lawyer said the case illustrates a radically dysfunctional bureaucracy at the agency, which has recently come under heavy criticism for its fragile response to the surge in unemployment claims during the coronavirus pandemic. Republican Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin has campaigned on the promise to overhaul the agency, but has so far not disclosed any details on where he will start.
Putin says Russia will offer Serbia good gas deal
SOCHI, Russia (AP) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Moscow will continue to supply natural gas to Serbia on terms favorable to its ally. Putin said he was confident on Thursday that a new gas supply contract to Serbia would be signed soon to replace the current one which expires at the end of the year. Putin said at the start of talks at his Black Sea residence in Sochi with visiting Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic that “we will find a solution that would certainly be acceptable to our Serbian friends.” Putin also noted that Russia will continue to strongly support Serbia amid recent tensions with Kosovo. Vucic praised the close ties between Serbia and Russia and notably noted a high level of defense cooperation.
Who is a hero? Some states and cities are still debating the risk premium
HARTFORD, Connecticut (AP) – While many workers deemed essential in their respective states have already received a Pandemic Risk Bounty or Hero Bounty, there are thousands more still waiting for the same boost financial. Many work in places like Connecticut, Minnesota, and cities across the country still trying to figure out if and how to distribute funds to what has become a huge pool of heroes. In Connecticut, state lawmakers in June set aside $ 22.5 million in federal pandemic funds for critical state employees and members of the Connecticut National Guard. But so far no checks have been cut. Meanwhile, there is a push to reward even more people with money.