the economic outlook in the United States, however cloudy, is still better than in most other regions.

loss of purchasing power over time, meaning your dollar will not go as far tomorrow as it did today. It is typically expressed as the annual change in prices for everyday goods and services such as food, furniture, apparel, transportation and toys.

A fragile currency can sometimes work as “a buffering mechanism,” causing nations to import less and export more, Mr. Prasad said. But today, many “are not seeing the benefits of stronger growth.”

Still, they must pay more for essential imports like oil, wheat or pharmaceuticals as well as for loan bills due from billion-dollar debts.

debt crisis in Latin America in the 1980s.

The situation is particularly fraught because so many countries ran up above-average debts to deal with the fallout from the pandemic. And now they are facing renewed pressure to offer public support as food and energy prices soar.

Indonesia this month, thousands of protesters, angry over a 30 percent price increase on subsidized fuel, clashed with the police. In Tunisia, a shortage of subsidized food items like sugar, coffee, flour and eggs has shuttered cafes and emptied market shelves.

New research on the impact of a strong dollar on emerging nations found that it drags down economic progress across the board.

“You can see these very pronounced negative effects of a stronger dollar,” said Maurice Obstfeld, an economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and an author of the study.

central banks feel pressure to raise interest rates to bolster their currencies and prevent import prices from skyrocketing. Last week, Argentina, the Philippines, Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Sweden, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Britain and Norway raised interest rates.

World Bank warned this month that simultaneous interest rate increases are pushing the world toward a recession and developing nations toward a string of financial crises that would inflict “lasting harm.”

Clearly, the Fed’s mandate is to look after the American economy, but some economists and foreign policymakers argue it should pay more attention to the fallout its decisions have on the rest of the world.

In 1998, Alan Greenspan, a five-term Fed chair, argued that “it is just not credible that the United States can remain an oasis of prosperity unaffected by a world that is experiencing greatly increased stress.”

The United States is now facing a slowing economy, but the essential dilemma is the same.

“Central banks have purely domestic mandates,” said Mr. Obstfeld, the U.C. Berkeley economist, but financial and trade globalization have made economies more interdependent than they have ever been and so closer cooperation is needed. “I don’t think central banks can have the luxury of not thinking about what’s happening abroad.”

Flávia Milhorance contributed reporting from Rio de Janeiro.

View Source

>>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<

They Were Entitled to Free Care. Hospitals Hounded Them to Pay.

In 2018, senior executives at one of the country’s largest nonprofit hospital chains, Providence, were frustrated. They were spending hundreds of millions of dollars providing free health care to patients. It was eating into their bottom line.

The executives, led by Providence’s chief financial officer at the time, devised a solution: a program called Rev-Up.

Rev-Up provided Providence’s employees with a detailed playbook for wringing money out of patients — even those who were supposed to receive free care because of their low incomes, a New York Times investigation found.

nonprofits like Providence. They enjoy lucrative tax exemptions; Providence avoids more than $1 billion a year in taxes. In exchange, the Internal Revenue Service requires them to provide services, such as free care for the poor, that benefit the communities in which they operate.

But in recent decades, many of the hospitals have become virtually indistinguishable from for-profit companies, adopting an unrelenting focus on the bottom line and straying from their traditional charitable missions.

focused on investments in rich communities at the expense of poorer ones.

And, as Providence illustrates, some hospital systems have not only reduced their emphasis on providing free care to the poor but also developed elaborate systems to convert needy patients into sources of revenue. The result, in the case of Providence, is that thousands of poor patients were saddled with debts that they never should have owed, The Times found.

provide. That was below the average of 2 percent for nonprofit hospitals nationwide, according to an analysis of hospital financial records by Ge Bai, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Ten states, however, have adopted their own laws that specify which patients, based on their income and family size, qualify for free or discounted care. Among them is Washington, where Providence is based. All hospitals in the state must provide free care for anyone who makes under 300 percent of the federal poverty level. For a family of four, that threshold is $83,250 a year.

In February, Bob Ferguson, the state’s attorney general, accused Providence of violating state law, in part by using debt collectors to pursue more than 55,000 patient accounts. The suit alleged that Providence wrongly claimed those patients owed a total of more than $73 million.

Providence, which is fighting the lawsuit, has said it will stop using debt collectors to pursue money from low-income patients who should qualify for free care in Washington.

But The Times found that the problems extend beyond Washington. In interviews, patients in California and Oregon who qualified for free care said they had been charged thousands of dollars and then harassed by collection agents. Many saw their credit scores ruined. Others had to cut back on groceries to pay what Providence claimed they owed. In both states, nonprofit hospitals are required by law to provide low-income patients with free or discounted care.

“I felt a little betrayed,” said Bev Kolpin, 57, who had worked as a sonogram technician at a Providence hospital in Oregon. Then she went on unpaid leave to have surgery to remove a cyst. The hospital billed her $8,000 even though she was eligible for discounted care, she said. “I had worked for them and given them so much, and they didn’t give me anything.” (The hospital forgave her debt only after a lawyer contacted Providence on Ms. Kolpin’s behalf.)

was a single room with four beds. The hospital charged patients $1 a day, not including extras like whiskey.

Patients rarely paid in cash, sometimes offering chickens, ducks and blankets in exchange for care.

At the time, hospitals in the United States were set up to do what Providence did — provide inexpensive care to the poor. Wealthier people usually hired doctors to treat them at home.

wrote to the Senate in 2005.

Some hospital executives have embraced the comparison to for-profit companies. Dr. Rod Hochman, Providence’s chief executive, told an industry publication in 2021 that “‘nonprofit health care’ is a misnomer.”

“It is tax-exempt health care,” he said. “It still makes profits.”

Those profits, he added, support the hospital’s mission. “Every dollar we make is going to go right back into Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Alaska and Montana.”

Since Dr. Hochman took over in 2013, Providence has become a financial powerhouse. Last year, it earned $1.2 billion in profits through investments. (So far this year, Providence has lost money.)

Providence also owes some of its wealth to its nonprofit status. In 2019, the latest year available, Providence received roughly $1.2 billion in federal, state and local tax breaks, according to the Lown Institute, a think tank that studies health care.

a speech by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures.”

Ms. Tizon, the spokeswoman for Providence, said the intent of Rev-Up was “not to target or pressure those in financial distress.” Instead, she said, “it aimed to provide patients with greater pricing transparency.”

“We recognize the tone of the training materials developed by McKinsey was not consistent with our values,” she said, adding that Providence modified the materials “to ensure we are communicating with each patient with compassion and respect.”

But employees who were responsible for collecting money from patients said the aggressive tactics went beyond the scripts provided by McKinsey. In some Providence collection departments, wall-mounted charts shaped like oversize thermometers tracked employees’ progress toward hitting their monthly collection goals, the current and former Providence employees said.

On Halloween at one of Providence’s hospitals, an employee dressed up as a wrestler named Rev-Up Ricky, according to the Washington lawsuit. Another costume featured a giant cardboard dollar sign with “How” printed on top of it, referring to the way the staff was supposed to ask patients how, not whether, they would pay. Ms. Tizon said such costumes were “not the culture we strive for.”

financial assistance policy, his low income qualified him for free care.

In early 2021, Mr. Aguirre said, he received a bill from Providence for $4,394.45. He told Providence that he could not afford to pay.

Providence sent his account to Harris & Harris, a debt collection company. Mr. Aguirre said that Harris & Harris employees had called him repeatedly for weeks and that the ordeal made him wary of going to Providence again.

“I try my best not to go to their emergency room even though my daughters have gotten sick, and I got sick,” Mr. Aguirre said, noting that one of his daughters needed a biopsy and that he had trouble breathing when he had Covid. “I have this big fear in me.”

That is the outcome that hospitals like Providence may be hoping for, said Dean A. Zerbe, who investigated nonprofit hospitals when he worked for the Senate Finance Committee under Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa.

“They just want to make sure that they never come back to that hospital and they tell all their friends never to go back to that hospital,” Mr. Zerbe said.

The Everett Daily Herald, Providence forgave her bill and refunded the payments she had made.

In June, she got another letter from Providence. This one asked her to donate money to the hospital: “No gift is too small to make a meaningful impact.”

In 2019, Vanessa Weller, a single mother who is a manager at a Wendy’s restaurant in Anchorage, went to Providence Alaska Medical Center, the state’s largest hospital.

She was 24 weeks pregnant and experiencing severe abdominal pains. “Let this just be cramps,” she recalled telling herself.

Ms. Weller was in labor. She gave birth via cesarean section to a boy who weighed barely a pound. She named him Isaiah. As she was lying in bed, pain radiating across her abdomen, she said, a hospital employee asked how she would like to pay. She replied that she had applied for Medicaid, which she hoped would cover the bill.

After five days in the hospital, Isaiah died.

Then Ms. Weller got caught up in Providence’s new, revenue-boosting policies.

The phone calls began about a month after she left the hospital. Ms. Weller remembers panicking when Providence employees told her what she owed: $125,000, or about four times her annual salary.

She said she had repeatedly told Providence that she was already stretched thin as a single mother with a toddler. Providence’s representatives asked if she could pay half the amount. On later calls, she said, she was offered a payment plan.

“It was like they were following some script,” she said. “Like robots.”

Later that year, a Providence executive questioned why Ms. Weller had a balance, given her low income, according to emails disclosed in Washington’s litigation with Providence. A colleague replied that her debts previously would have been forgiven but that Providence’s new policy meant that “balances after Medicaid are being excluded from presumptive charity process.”

Ms. Weller said she had to change her phone number to make the calls stop. Her credit score plummeted from a decent 650 to a lousy 400. She has not paid any of her bill.

Susan C. Beachy and Beena Raghavendran contributed research.

View Source

>>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<

More Americans Filed Unemployment Claims Last Week

By Associated Press

and Newsy Staff
September 22, 2022

First time applications for jobless aid — which generally reflect layoffs — rose by 5,000 to 213,000 last week, the Labor Department reported.

The number of Americans filing for jobless benefits rose slightly last week with the Federal Reserve pushing hard to cool the economy and tamp down inflation.

Applications for unemployment benefits for the week ending Sept. 17 rose by 5,000 to 213,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Last week’s number was revised down by 5,000 to 208,000, the lowest figure since May.

First-time applications generally reflect layoffs.

The four-week average for claims, which evens out some of the weekly volatility, fell by 6,000 to 216,750.

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark short-term borrowing rate by another three-quarters of a point in an effort to bring down persistent, decades-high inflation. Though gas prices have steadily retreated since summer, prices for food and other essentials remain elevated enough that the Fed has indicated it will keep raising its benchmark interest rate until prices come back down to normal levels.

Fed officials have pointed to the remarkably resilient U.S. labor market as added justification for raising rates five times this year, including three 75-basis point hikes in a row.

The Fed’s move boosted its benchmark short-term rate, which affects many consumer and business loans, to a range of 3% to 3.25%, the highest level since early 2008. The officials also forecast that they will further raise their benchmark rate to roughly 4.4% by year’s end, a full point higher than they had envisioned as recently as June.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell said that before Fed officials would consider halting their rate hikes, they want to be confident that inflation is retreating to their 2% target. He noted that the strength of the job market is fueling pay gains that are helping drive up inflation.

He emphasized his belief that curbing inflation is vital to ensuring the long-term health of the job market.

Earlier this month, the Labor Department reported that employers added still-strong 315,000 jobs in August, though less than the average 487,000 a month over the past year. The unemployment rate ticked up to 3.7%, largely because hundreds of thousands of people returned to the job market. Some didn’t find work right away, so the government’s count of unemployed people rose.

The U.S. economy has been a mixed bag this year, with economic growth declining in the first half of 2022. Investors and economist worry that the Fed’s aggressive rate hikes could force companies to cut jobs and tip the economy into a recession.

Online real estate companies RedFin and Compass recently announced job cuts as rising interest rates have cooled the housing market. The National Association of Realtors reported Wednesday that sales of existing homes fell again in August, the seventh straight monthly decline.

Other high-profile layoffs announced in recent months include The Gap, Tesla, Netflix, Carvana and Coinbase.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

View Source

>>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<

How a Quebec Lithium Mine May Help Make Electric Cars Affordable

About 350 miles northwest of Montreal, amid a vast pine forest, is a deep mining pit with walls of mottled rock. The pit has changed hands repeatedly and been mired in bankruptcy, but now it could help determine the future of electric vehicles.

The mine contains lithium, an indispensable ingredient in electric car batteries that is in short supply. If it opens on schedule early next year, it will be the second North American source of that metal, offering hope that badly needed raw materials can be extracted and refined close to Canadian, U.S. and Mexican auto factories, in line with Biden administration policies that aim to break China’s dominance of the battery supply chain.

Having more mines will also help contain the price of lithium, which has soared fivefold since mid-2021, pushing the cost of electric vehicles so high that they are out of reach for many drivers. The average new electric car in the United States costs about $66,000, just a few thousand dollars short of the median household income last year.

lithium mines are in various stages of development in Canada and the United States. Canada has made it a mission to become a major source of raw materials and components for electric vehicles. But most of these projects are years away from production. Even if they are able to raise the billions of dollars needed to get going, there is no guarantee they will yield enough lithium to meet the continent’s needs.

eliminate this cap and extend the tax credit until 2032; used cars will also qualify for a credit of up to $4,000.

For many people in government and the auto industry, the main concern is whether there will be enough lithium to meet soaring demand for electric vehicles.

The Inflation Reduction Act, which President Biden signed in August, has raised the stakes for the auto industry. To qualify for several incentives and subsidies in the law, which go to car buyers and automakers and are worth a total of $10,000 or more per electric vehicle, battery makers must use raw materials from North America or a country with which the United States has a trade agreement.

rising fast.

California and other states move to ban internal combustion engines. “It’s going to take everything we can do and our competitors can do over the next five years to keep up,” Mr. Norris said.

One of the first things that Sayona had to do when it took over the La Corne mine was pump out water that had filled the pit, exposing terraced walls of dark and pale stone from previous excavations. Lighter rock contains lithium.

After being blasted loose and crushed, the rock is processed in several stages to remove waste material. A short drive from the mine, inside a large building with walls of corrugated blue metal, a laser scanner uses jets of compressed air to separate light-colored lithium ore. The ore is then refined in vats filled with detergent and water, where the lithium floats to the surface and is skimmed away.

The end product looks like fine white sand but it is still only about 6 percent lithium. The rest includes aluminum, silicon and other substances. The material is sent to refineries, most of them in China, to be further purified.

Yves Desrosiers, an engineer and a senior adviser at Sayona, began working at the La Corne mine in 2012. During a tour, he expressed satisfaction at what he said were improvements made by Sayona and Piedmont. Those include better control of dust, and a plan to restore the site once the lithium runs out in a few decades.

“The productivity will be a lot better because we are correcting everything,” Mr. Desrosiers said. In a few years, the company plans to upgrade the facility to produce lithium carbonate, which contains a much higher concentration of lithium than the raw metal extracted from the ground.

The operation will get its electricity from Quebec’s abundant hydropower plants, and will use only recycled water in the separation process, Mr. Desrosiers said. Still, environmental activists are watching the project warily.

Mining is a pillar of the Quebec economy, and the area around La Corne is populated with people whose livelihoods depend on extraction of iron, nickel, copper, zinc and other metals. There is an active gold mine near the largest city in the area, Val-d’Or, or Valley of Gold.

Mining “is our life,” said Sébastien D’Astous, a metallurgist turned politician who is the mayor of Amos, a small city north of La Corne. “Everybody knows, or has in the near family, people who work in mining or for contractors.”

Most people support the lithium mine, but a significant minority oppose it, Mr. D’Astous said. Opponents fear that another lithium mine being developed by Sayona in nearby La Motte, Quebec, could contaminate an underground river.

Rodrigue Turgeon, a local lawyer and program co-leader for MiningWatch Canada, a watchdog group, has pushed to make sure the Sayona mines undergo rigorous environmental reviews. Long Point First Nation, an Indigenous group that says the mines are on its ancestral territory, wants to conduct its own environmental impact study.

Sébastien Lemire, who represents the region around La Corne in the Canadian Parliament, said he wanted to make sure that the wealth created by lithium mining flowed to the people of Quebec rather than to outside investors.

Mr. Lemire praised activists for being “vigilant” about environmental standards, but he favors the mine and drives an electric car, a Chevrolet Bolt.

“If we don’t do it,” he said at a cafe in La Corne, “we’re missing the opportunity of the electrification of transport.”

View Source

>>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<

KTNV: More Latinos Are Becoming Homeowners, But Roadblocks Remain

By Tricia Kean

and KTNV-TV
September 19, 2022

More than 650,000 Latinos became homeowners nationwide from 2019 to 2021and now over half of all Latino-Americans own a home.

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — 700,000 Latinos live in Clark County, and many of them are buying homes. In fact, a recent report by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals says Latinos across the country are buying homes more than ever before.

Today, nearly half of all Hispanics are homeowners. But are they buying in Las Vegas?

“I for sure wanted to have at least three bedrooms in the house,” Hugo Organista told KTNV.

He bought a home last November. Organista says he came to Las Vegas after struggling to find something in the Phoenix area.

“(I) realized that I probably wasn’t going to get what I wanted and placed four offers on a house there, got beat out by a cash buyer every time,” Organista said.

Fortunately, he was able to scoop up a move-in-ready house near Boulder Highway and Tropicana Avenue. It’s a dream the Mexican native says he still can’t believe.

“When my family came here, we were eating pizza on the floor. We didn’t even have enough for a dining room table,” Organista said.

Organista said he was able to buy a home at a young age thanks to his mom. He credits her with teaching him how to work hard, save money and pay bills on time.

“You know, like she would drag me down to JC Penney’s to go make a cash payment for her credit card because she didn’t want it to be late. So, I kind of grew up with that in mind,” he said.

LATINO HOUSEHOLDS

In the Latino community, Organista isn’t alone. More than 650,000 Latinos became homeowners nationwide from 2019 to 2021. A lot of them are buying in the Las Vegas valley, says Myra Rivera, with the local chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals.

“(In) 2021, we went up a little bit over 48 percent in Latino households, and that’s projected to continue to go up,” Rivera said. “I think in the last few years that I’ve been in business, and also just looking at the stats, those numbers have been increasing every single year.”

In fact, as of 2021, more than 40% of Hispanic adults 45 years old and younger are mortgage ready.

“And in the next few years, we’re going to see a lot of those Latinos come into the market because now they’re ready. Their next step is finding a home,” Rivera said.

Many interested homebuyers are looking here in Las Vegas because they want new construction, Rivera added.

FROM CALIFORNIA

“We get people from California coming in, used to the older homes, and they see Vegas homes mostly in the 2000s and they’re like, Oh, wow, this is new,” says Rivera.

Rivera admits it’s still a tough market for some Hispanic families. Many still struggle with poor credit and are looking for homes at a lower price point.

“Latino households usually are larger. They have a lot of kids or their parents living with them. So, they need at least 3 to 5 bedrooms. Finding a house that’s 3 to 5 bedrooms in that little price point… is sometimes a little difficult,” says Rivera.

But Rivera is happy to see the situation is improving. She says many younger Latinos see the benefits to buying versus renting.

“You’re starting to see the next generations or the next one in the family is buying younger or they’re upgrading sooner… They see it as ‘I’m investing, I’m upgrading. My family needs it.’ They’re not scared of the process,” says Rivera.

Organista says it’s encouraging to hear Latinos his age and younger are learning, anything is possible.

“It’s a testament to what happens when we start to tackle systematic injustices… Knowledge is like step number one. That’s like half the battle. Then the other half of that is actually putting it into practice,” says Organista.

This story was originally published by Tricia Kean on ktnv.com.

Source: newsy.com

View Source

>>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<

Railroads’ Strategy Thrilled Wall Street, but Not Customers and Workers

America’s first commercial railroads were built almost two centuries ago. Freight rail has been a symbol of the nation’s economic might and ingenuity ever since.

In recent years, some of the biggest names on Wall Street have made significant investments in railroads, reaping big stock gains as railroads reported higher profits. But the underlying strategies that strengthened railroads’ bottom lines have caused friction with customers, regulators and particularly workers — giving rise to a contract dispute that threatened a nationwide shutdown of the railway system.

After losing ground to trucking in the mid-20th century, the rail industry managed to recover through decades of consolidation and a push for efficiency. Critics say those same dynamics created a system with thin staffing and minimal competition, making it particularly vulnerable to shocks like the coronavirus pandemic.

Those complaints were at the center of the contract impasse that left tens of thousands of workers prepared to walk off the job last week. A strike could have been economically devastating, paralyzing shipments of grain, chemicals and other cargo.

It was averted with less than a day to go when the Biden administration helped to broker a tentative agreement that addresses some of those issues and will be put to a vote of the rail unions’ members in the coming weeks.

The freight rail industry says it has worked hard to adapt to rapid changes — including the pandemic and, before that, a decline in demand for coal, a critical source of business.

“The industry has had to continually evolve to grow its other services,” said Ian Jefferies, the president of the Association of American Railroads, an industry group. To make up for the decline in coal, freight shippers have tried to transport more grain, truck trailers, shipping containers and other goods, he said.

according to the Surface Transportation Board, which monitors and regulates rates.

Prices started to increase in the early 2000s, driven by rising costs for labor, fuel, materials and supplies as well as a growing focus on profitability. From 2002 to 2019, long-distance trucking rates increased by 40 percent, according to a Transportation Department report published this year, while rail rates grew by 96 percent, though they are still well below historical levels, adjusted for inflation.

won a proxy battle for Canadian Pacific in 2012 and installed Mr. Harrison to lead the company.

Mr. Harrison brought his approach to Canadian Pacific, then to CSX in 2017, before his death that year. Other freight carriers and Wall Street increasingly took notice, and the practice has spread throughout the industry.

Many freight rail experts say P.S.R. brought necessary reforms to the industry, but they also say some practices, which can differ greatly among carriers, went too far or were poorly executed. Unions say the system has created miserable working conditions.

letter to shareholders.

“I’ll venture a rare prediction,” he wrote in February. “BNSF will be a key asset for Berkshire and our country a century from now.”

Peter S. Goodman and Clifford Krauss contributed reporting.

View Source

>>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<

Swedish right prepares for power as PM accepts election defeat

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

STOCKHOLM, Sept 14 (Reuters) – The head of Sweden’s Moderate Party, Ulf Kristersson, said on Wednesday he would begin the work of forming a new government after Prime Minster Magdalena Andersson conceded her Social Democrats had lost the weekend’s general election.

The Moderates, Sweden Democrats, Christian Democrats and Liberals appear set to get 176 seats in the 349-seat parliament to the centre-left’s 173 seats, according to the latest figures from the election authority. read more

A handful of votes remain to be counted, but the result is unlikely to change significantly.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

“I will now start the work of forming a new government that can get things done,” Kristersson said in a video on his Instagram account.

The election marks a watershed in Swedish politics with the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, a party with roots in the white supremacist fringe, on the threshold of gaining influence over government policy. read more

The success of the party, which took over from Kristersson’s Moderates as the country’s second biggest, has raised fears that Sweden’s tolerant and inclusive politics are a thing of the past.

However, their mantra that Sweden’s ills – particularly gang crime – are a result of decades of overgenerous immigration policies have hit home with many voters.

Kristersson said he would build a government “for all of Sweden and all citizens”.

“There is a big frustration in society, a fear of the violence, concern about the economy, the world is very uncertain and the political polarisation has become far too big also in Sweden,” he said. “Therefore my message is that I want to unite, not divide.”

Though Kristersson’s party is smaller, Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Akesson cannot get the broad backing from the right needed to oust the Social Democrats.

Kristersson is likely to try and form a government with the Christian Democrats and rely on support in parliament from the Sweden Democrats and Liberals.

WORRY

Prime Minister Andersson accepted defeat, but warned that many Swedes were worried about the Sweden Democrats’ election success.

“I see your concern and I share it”, she said.

The Sweden Democrats aim to make Sweden the European Union’s toughest on immigration policy including legislation making it possible to deny people seeking asylum based on religious or LGBTQ grounds.

The party wants to slash economic benefits for immigrants and give more powers to police, including zones in troubled areas allowing searches without concrete suspicion of a crime.

The Sweden Democrats look set to win 20.6% of the vote, against 19.1% for the Moderates. The Social Democrats will be at 30.4%.

Commanding only a thin majority, Kristersson faces a number of challenges, not least the fact of his party’s junior status.

Forming an administration and agreeing a budget will not be easy as the Liberals and Sweden Democrats refuse to serve together – or separately – in government and differ on many policies.

“Sweden is now going to get an administration that is only one or two parliamentary seats away from a government crisis,” Andersson said.

She said the her door was open to Kristersson if he wanted to rethink his alliance with the Sweden Democrats.

In addition, Sweden is in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis and could be heading for recession next year.

Russia’s war in Ukraine has destabilised the Baltic region – Sweden’s backyard – and uncertainty remains over whether Turkey will finally agree to Stockholm’s application for NATO membership. read more

Measures to address climate change and long term energy policy also need to be thrashed out while holes in the welfare system exposed by the pandemic need to be plugged and a planned surge in defence spending financed. read more

The result still has to be officially confirmed, probably by the weekend.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Reporting by Simon Johnson and Anna Ringstrom
Editing by Terje Solsvik, Mark Potter and Jonathan Oatis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

View Source

>>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<

Fewer Americans Filed Unemployment Claims Again Last Week

By Associated Press
September 15, 2022

First-time applications for jobless aid fell by 5,000 to 213,000 last week, the Labor Department reported.

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell again last week to a four-month low even as the Federal Reserve continues its aggressive interest rate cuts to bring inflation under control.

Applications for jobless aid for the week ending Sept. 10 fell by 5,000 to 213,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. That’s the fewest since late May.

First-time applications generally reflect layoffs.

The four-week average for claims, which offsets some of the weekly volatility, fell by 8,000 to 224,000.

The number of Americans collecting traditional unemployment benefits inched up by 2,000 for the week that ended Sept. 3, to 1.4 million.

Hiring in the U.S. in 2022 has been remarkably strong even in the midst of rising interest rates and weak economic growth. The Federal Reserve has aggressively raised interest rates in an effort to bring down inflation, which generally also slows job growth.

Earlier this month, the Labor Department reported that employers added still-strong 315,000 jobs in August, though less than the average 487,000 a month over the past year. The unemployment rate ticked up to 3.7%, its highest level since February, but for a healthy reason: Hundreds of thousands of people returned to the job market, and some didn’t find work right away, so the government’s count of unemployed people rose.

The U.S. economy has been a mixed bag this year. Economic growth has declined in the first half of 2022, which, by some informal definitions, signals a recession.

But businesses remain desperate to find workers, posting more than 11 million job openings in July, meaning there are almost two job vacancies for every unemployed American.

Inflation continues to be the biggest obstacle for a healthy U.S. economy. The rise in consumer prices slowed modestly the past couple months, largely due to falling gas prices. But overall, prices for food and other essentials remain elevated enough that the Federal Reserve has indicated it will keep raising its benchmark interest rate until prices come back down to normal levels.

Most economists expect the Fed to raise its benchmark borrowing rate by three-quarters of a point when it meets next week.

The Fed has already raised its short-term interest rate four times this year and Chairman Jerome Powell has said that the central bank will likely need to keep interest rates high enough to slow the economy “for some time” in order to tame the worst inflation in 40 years. Powell has acknowledged the increases will hurt U.S. households and businesses, but also said the pain would be worse if inflation remained at current levels.

Some of that so-called pain has already begun, particularly in the housing and technology sectors. Online real estate companies RedFin and Compass recently announced job cuts as rising interest rates have tripped up the housing market.

Other high-profile layoffs announced in recent months include Tesla, Netflix, Carvana, and Coinbase.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

View Source

>>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<

Stocks subdued by outsized rate risks, yen fragile

>>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals!<<<<

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

  • Fed looms over broader markets, dollar rises
  • Oil tumbles on demand concerns, U.S. rail strike averted
  • Treasury yields climb while oil gold tumbles

NEW YORK, Sept 15 (Reuters) – Wall Street indexes were firmly in the red after a choppy start to Thursday’s session while bond yields rose as investors digested economic data that provided the Federal Reserve little reason to ease its aggressive interest rate hiking cycle.

Oil futures tumbled more than 3% on demand concerns and after a tentative agreement that would avert a U.S. rail strike, as well as continued U.S. dollar strength with expectations for a large U.S. rate increase. read more

Economic data showed U.S. retail sales unexpectedly rebounded in August as Americans ramped up purchases of motor vehicles and dined out more while taking advantage of lower gasoline prices. But data for July was revised downward to show retail sales declining instead of flat as previously reported.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Separately the Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell for the week ended Sept. 10 to the lowest level since the end of May. read more

Investors are widely expecting an aggressive rate hike after the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting next week, but nervously awaiting hints from Fed Chair Jerome Powell about future policy moves, said Quincy Krosby, chief global strategist at LPL Financial.

“The market remains choppy knowing that there’s a Fed meeting next week. Even though participants agree that it’ll be a 75 basis points rate hike, it’s what the statement adds to previous commentary and what Chairman Powell says in his press conference” that have them worried, Krosby said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) fell 173.07 points, or 0.56%, to 30,962.02; the S&P 500 (.SPX) lost 44.69 points, or 1.13%, to 3,901.32 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) dropped 167.32 points, or 1.43%, to 11,552.36.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe (.MIWD00000PUS) shed 0.96% while emerging market stocks (.MSCIEF) lost 0.57%.

Stocks, bonds and currencies on Thursday were showing a market “increasingly understanding the Fed is going to hike more aggressively next week,” said Scott Ladner, chief investment officer at Horizon Investments in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Referring particularly to the still strong labor market, Ladner said “economic numbers released today are tying a bow on the situation.”

Treasury yields rose with the two-year hitting fresh 15-year highs, after data on retail sales and jobless claims showed a resilient economy that gives the Fed ample room to aggressively hike interest rates.

Also already signaling a recession warning the inverted yield curve – the gap between 2-year and 10-year treasury yields – widened further to -41.4 basis points, compared with -13.0 bps a week ago.

Benchmark 10-year notes were up 4.5 basis points to 3.457%, from 3.412% late on Wednesday. The 30-year bond last fell 5/32 in price to yield 3.4779%, from 3.469%. The 2-year note last fell 5/32 in price to yield 3.8646%, from 3.782%.

“In this vicious cycle where the data continues to remain resilient, that would imply a Fed that would likely stay the course and continue to tighten policy,” said Subadra Rajappa, head of U.S. rates strategy at Societe Generale in New York.

Also clouding investors’ moods on Thursday was the World Bank’s assessment that the world may be edging toward a global recession as central banks across the world simultaneously hike interest rates to combat persistent inflation. read more

In currencies the dollar was slightly higher against the yen while the Swiss franc hit its strongest level against the euro since 2015. read more

The dollar index , which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, rose 0.091%, with the euro up 0.18% to $0.9995.

The Japanese yen weakened 0.19% versus the greenback at 143.44 per dollar, while Sterling was last trading at $1.1469, down 0.57% on the day.

Before the tentative labor agreement, fears of a U.S. railroad worker strike had supported oil prices due to supply concerns on Wednesday. In addition, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said this week that oil demand growth would grind to a halt in the fourth quarter.

U.S. crude settled down 3.82% at $85.10 per barrel while Brent finished at $90.84, down 3.46% on the day.

Gold dropped to its lowest level since April 2021, hurt by elevated U.S. Treasury yields and a firm dollar, as bets of another hefty Fed rate hike eroded bullion’s appeal.

Spot gold dropped 1.9% to $1,664.46 an ounce. U.S. gold futures fell 2.02% to $1,662.30 an ounce.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Additional reporting by Herbert Lash in New York, Marc Jones in London, Stefano Rebaudo in Milan, Tom Westbrook in Singapore and Wayne Cole in Sydney; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Jonathan Oatis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

View Source

>>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<