even tougher winter next year as natural gas stocks are used up and as new supplies to replace Russian gas, including increased shipments from the United States or Qatar, are slow to come online, the International Energy Agency said in its annual World Energy Outlook, released last week.

Europe’s activity appears to be accelerating a global transition toward cleaner technologies, the I.E.A. added, as countries respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by embracing hydrogen fuels, electric vehicles, heat pumps and other green energies.

But in the short term, countries will be burning more fossil fuels in response to the natural gas shortages.

gas fields in Groningen, which had been slated to be sealed because of earthquakes triggered by the extraction of the fuel.

Eleven countries, including Germany, Finland and Estonia, are now building or expanding a total of 18 offshore terminals to process liquid gas shipped in from other countries. Other projects in Latvia and Lithuania are under consideration.

Nuclear power is winning new support in countries that had previously decided to abandon it, including Germany and Belgium. Finland is planning to extend the lifetime of one reactor, while Poland and Romania plan to build new nuclear power plants.

European Commission blueprint, are voluntary and rely on buy-ins from individuals and businesses whose utility bills may be subsidized by their governments.

Energy use dropped in September in several countries, although it is hard to know for sure if the cause was balmy weather, high prices or voluntary conservation efforts inspired by a sense of civic duty. But there are signs that businesses, organizations and the public are responding. In Sweden, for example, the Lund diocese said it planned to partially or fully close 150 out of 540 churches this winter to conserve energy.

Germany and France have issued sweeping guidance, which includes lowering heating in all homes, businesses and public buildings, using appliances at off-peak hours and unplugging electronic devices when not in use.

Denmark wants households to shun dryers and use clotheslines. Slovakia is urging citizens to use microwaves instead of stoves and brush their teeth with a single glass of water.

website. “Short showers,” wrote one homeowner; another announced: “18 solar panels coming to the roof in October.”

“In the coming winter, efforts to save electricity and schedule the consumption of electricity may be the key to avoiding electricity shortages,” Fingrad, the main grid operator, said.

Businesses are being asked to do even more, and most governments have set targets for retailers, manufacturers and offices to find ways to ratchet down their energy use by at least 10 percent in the coming months.

Governments, themselves huge users of energy, are reducing heating, curbing streetlight use and closing municipal swimming pools. In France, where the state operates a third of all buildings, the government plans to cut energy use by two terawatt-hours, the amount used by a midsize city.

Whether the campaigns succeed is far from clear, said Daniel Gros, director of the Centre for European Policy Studies, a European think tank. Because the recommendations are voluntary, there may be little incentive for people to follow suit — especially if governments are subsidizing energy bills.

In countries like Germany, where the government aims to spend up to €200 billion to help households and businesses offset rising energy prices starting next year, skyrocketing gas prices are hitting consumers now. “That is useful in getting them to lower their energy use,” he said. But when countries fund a large part of the bill, “there is zero incentive to save on energy,” he said.

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Dream Impact Trust Reports Third Quarter Results

TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–DREAM IMPACT TRUST (TSX: MPCT.UN) (“Dream Impact”, “we”, “our” or the “Trust”) today reported its financial results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2022 (“third quarter”).

For the second consecutive year, the Trust is pleased to achieve a five-star rating from GRESB, the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark, which is recognition of its placement in the top 20% global benchmark with an overall score of 88/100. The Trust’s score can be attributed to excellent performance in Leadership, Policies, Reporting, Targets and, Data Monitoring and Review. Annual participation in the GRESB assessment provides the Trust with the opportunity for a third-party assessment of our continued progress towards achieving the Trust’s impact/ESG related goals. Further details on specific ESG metrics will be disclosed as part of our 2021 Sustainability Update report, which will be published in November.

“We are pleased with the Trust’s steady progress to create a more resilient portfolio,” said Michael Cooper, Portfolio Manager. “As we add an additional 210 multi-family units to our recurring income segment in the quarter, and construction continues on our 1,863-unit rental buildings in the West Don Lands, we believe we are well positioned to weather ongoing market disruptions by investing in high-quality assets, and contributing meaningfully to important societal issues. While our pace of external acquisitions may slow in the near term, with the largest portfolio of net-zero development and our extensive residential pipeline, we have tremendous internal growth.”

Selected financial and operating metrics for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2022, are summarized below:

 

Three months ended September 30,

Nine months ended September 30,

 

 

2022

 

2021

 

2022

 

2021

Condensed consolidated results of operations

 

 

 

 

Net income (loss)

$

337

$

2,154

$

1,309

$

(5,509)

Net income (loss) per unit(1)

 

0.01

 

0.03

 

0.02

 

(0.08)

 

 

 

 

 

Distributions declared and paid per unit

 

0.10

 

0.10

 

0.30

 

0.30

Units outstanding – end of period

 

66,094,687

 

64,939,362

 

66,094,687

 

64,939,362

Units outstanding – weighted average

 

65,982,734

 

65,066,259

 

65,637,245

 

64,934,850

During the three months ended September 30, 2022, the Trust reported net income of $0.3 million compared to net income of $2.2 million in the prior year. The change in earnings was primarily driven by timing of fair value adjustments on our income properties and developments, upon milestone achievements, as well as higher interest expense. This was partially offset by the impact of foreign exchange fluctuations on the Trust’s investment in the U.S. hotel.

As at September 30, 2022, the Trust had $9.0 million of cash-on-hand, which included unused proceeds from the Trust’s convertible debenture issuance. The Trust’s debt-to-asset value(1) as at September 30, 2022 was 27.3%, an increase relative to 25.7% as of June 30, 2022, primarily due to draws on the credit facility. For similar reasons, the Trust’s debt-to-total asset value, inclusive of project-level debt(1) and assets within our development segment, including equity accounted investments, was 60.0% as at September 30, 2022, compared to 57.4% as at June 30, 2022. This includes long-term government debt at low interest rates and high leverage, providing financial benefits that help us pay for the social benefits we provide, including our affordable housing and sustainability programs within our communities. As at September 30, 2022, the Trust had drawn $24.8 million on its $50.0 million credit facility.

As part of the Trust’s ongoing risk management practices, the Trust monitors the impact of macroeconomic factors on the business. This includes assessing the impact of cost escalations on operations and construction projects, and the impact of rising interest rates on our portfolio. We continue to monitor our capital allocation on an ongoing basis, pursue refinancing opportunities which mitigate interest rate risk, and tender a significant portion of development costs prior to construction commencement which helps contain inflationary risk.

Recurring Income

In the third quarter, the Trust’s recurring income segment generated net income of $1.2 million, consistent with prior year, although the composition of earnings differed in each period due to transaction costs, fair value adjustments and occupancy rates across the portfolio.

Throughout the period, we have continued to see strong leasing momentum across our multi-family rental buildings, ending the quarter with in-place and committed residential occupancy at 93.5% as of September 30, 2022, up from 82.5% as of June 30, 2022. Notably, Aalto Suites, a 162-unit multi-family rental building at Zibi, ended the quarter with in-place and committed occupancy at 74.7%, up from 34.6% at June 30, 2022. Aalto Suites has 95% of its units designated as affordable and we anticipate achieving stabilization for the asset in early 2023.

In the third quarter, the Trust acquired a 50% interest in 70 Park, a 210-unit multi-family rental building adjacent to the Port Credit GO station and in close proximity to the Trust’s Brightwater development. The gross purchase price for the site was $105.5 million (at 100%), of which approximately $25 million was allocated to land slated for redevelopment on the site. Inclusive of 70 Park, the Trust’s multi-family rental portfolio is comprised of nearly 1,600 units of which 25% are considered affordable.

Based on the Trust’s current development pipeline, we have an additional 2,826 residential units and 153,000 square feet (“sf”) of commercial and retail (at 100%) with an estimated value on completion of $508.5 million that will be completed and contribute to recurring income over the next three years. For further details, refer to the “Three-Year Recurring Income” table in Section 2.1, “Recurring Income”, in the Trust’s MD&A for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2022.

Development

In the third quarter, the development segment generated net income of $2.9 million compared to $4.2 million in the prior period. The decrease relative to prior year was driven by fair value gains recognized in 2021 within the Trust’s equity accounted investments, partially offset by higher foreign exchange gains on the Trust’s investment in the U.S. hotel this year.

In the period, we completed the acquisition of the Berkeley land assembly, which comprises five income properties adjacent to the Trust’s commercial asset, 49 Ontario, located in downtown Toronto. Inclusive of one property purchased in 2021, the Berkeley land assembly was purchased for $16.9 million, including transaction costs. The Trust has submitted a rezoning application for over 800,000 sf for this site and expects rezoning to be achieved by 2023. As of September 30, 2022, 49 Ontario was carried at $95.0 million per the Trust’s financial statements.

Other(2)

In the third quarter, the Other segment generated a net loss of $3.8 million compared to $3.3 million in the prior year. The increase was primarily driven by interest expense on the Trust’s convertible debentures and credit facility. Partially offsetting this was a deferred compensation recovery and decrease in the asset management fee as a result of fluctuations in the Trust’s share price.

Cash Generated from Operating Activities

Cash generated in operating activities for the three months ended September 30, 2022 was $1.5 million compared to cash generated of $4.3 million in the prior year, a decrease driven by proceeds received from a legacy development in the prior year and timing of deposits made on the Trust’s acquisitions.

Footnotes

(1)

 

For the Trust’s definition of the following specified financial measures: debt-to-asset value, debt-to-total asset value, inclusive of project-level debt, net income (loss) per unit, please refer to the cautionary statements under the heading “Specified Financial Measures and Other Measures” in this press release and the Specified Financial Measures and Other Disclosures section of the Trust’s MD&A.

(2)

 

Includes other Trust amounts not specifically related to the segments.

Conference Call

Senior management will host a conference call on Thursday November 3 at 2:00 pm (ET). To access the call, please dial 1-866-455-3403 in Canada or 647-484-8332 elsewhere and use passcode 24662328#. To access the conference call via webcast, please go to the Trust’s website at www.dreamimpacttrust.ca and click on Calendar of Events in the News and Events section. A taped replay of the conference call and the webcast will be available for 90 days.

About Dream Impact

Dream Impact is an open-ended trust dedicated to impact investing. Dream Impact’s underlying portfolio is comprised of exceptional real estate assets reported under two operating segments: development and investment holdings, and recurring income, that would not be otherwise available in a public and fully transparent vehicle, managed by an experienced team with a successful track record in these areas. The objectives of Dream Impact are to create positive and lasting impacts for our stakeholders through our three impact verticals: environmental sustainability and resilience, attainable and affordable housing, and inclusive communities; while generating attractive returns for investors. For more information, please visit: www.dreamimpacttrust.ca.

Specified Financial Measures and Other Measures

The Trust’s condensed consolidated financial statements are prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”). In this press release, as a complement to results provided in accordance with IFRS, the Trust discloses and discusses certain specified financial measures, including debt-to-asset value, debt-to-total asset value inclusive of project-level debt, and net income (loss) per unit, as well as other measures discussed elsewhere in this release. These specified financial measures are not defined by IFRS, do not have a standardized meaning and may not be comparable with similar measures presented by other issuers. The Trust has presented such specified financial measures as management believes they are relevant measures of our underlying operating performance and debt management. Specified financial measures should not be considered as alternatives to unitholders’ equity, net income, total comprehensive income or cash flows generated from operating activities, or comparable metrics determined in accordance with IFRS as indicators of the Trust’s performance, liquidity, cash flow and profitability. For a full description of these measures and, where applicable, a reconciliation to the most directly comparable measure calculated in accordance with IFRS, please refer to Section 6, “Specified Financial Measures and Other Disclosures” in the Trust’s MD&A for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2022.

“Debt-to-asset value” represents the total debt payable for the Trust divided by the total asset value of the Trust as at the applicable reporting date. This non-GAAP ratio is an important measure in evaluating the amount of debt leverage; however, it is not defined by IFRS, does not have a standardized meaning, and may not be comparable with similar measures presented by other issuers.

As at

September 30, 2022

December 31, 2021

Total debt

$

203,585

$

133,150

Unamortized discount on host instrument of convertible debentures

 

1,152

 

809

Conversion feature

 

(345)

 

(357)

Unamortized balance of deferred financing costs

 

3,023

 

1,300

Total debt payable

$

207,415

$

134,902

Total assets

 

760,203

 

701,702

Debt-to-asset value

 

27.3%

 

19.2%

“Debt-to-total asset value, inclusive of project-level debt” represents the Trust’s total debt payable plus the debt payable within our development and investment holdings, and equity accounted investments, divided by the total asset value of the Trust plus the debt payable within our development and investment holdings, and equity accounted investments, as at the applicable reporting date. This specified financial measure is an important measure in evaluating the amount of debt leverage inclusive of project-level debt within our development and investment holdings, and equity accounted investments; however, it is not defined by IFRS, does not have a standardized meaning, and may not be comparable with similar measures presented by other issuers.

 

September 30, 2022

December 31, 2021

Debt payable within our development and investment holdings, and equity accounted investments

$

622,683

$

493,217

Total assets

 

760,203

 

701,702

Total assets, inclusive of project-level debt

$

1,382,886

$

1,194,919

 

 

 

Debt payable within our development and investment holdings, and equity accounted investments

$

622,683

$

493,217

Total debt payable

 

207,415

 

134,902

Total debt, inclusive of project-level debt

$

830,098

$

628,119

 

 

 

Debt-to-total asset value, inclusive of project-level debt and assets within our development segment, including equity

accounted investments

 

60.0%

 

52.6%

“Net income (loss) per unit” represents net income (loss) of the Trust divided by the weighted average number of units outstanding during the period.

 

Three months ended September 30,

Nine months ended September 30,

 

 

2022

 

2021

 

2022

 

2021

Net income (loss)

$

337

$

2,154

$

1,309

$

(5,509)

Units outstanding – weighted average

 

65,982,734

 

65,066,259

 

65,637,245

 

64,934,850

Net income (loss) per unit

$

0.01

$

0.03

$

0.02

$

(0.08)

Forward-Looking Information

This press release may contain forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities legislation. Forward-looking information generally can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “outlook”, “objective”, “may”, “will”, “would”, “could”, “expect”, “intend”, “estimate”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “should”, “plans”, or “continue”, or similar expressions suggesting future outcomes or events. Some of the specific forward-looking information in this press release may include, among other things, statements relating to the Trust’s objectives and strategies to achieve those objectives; the publication and details of the 2021 Sustainability Update Report; the resiliency of the Trust’s portfolio; the belief that the Trust is well positioned to withstand market disruptions by investing in high-quality assets; the expectation that external acquisitions may slow in the near term; the Trust’s internal growth potential; the expectation that long-term government debt at low interest rates will provide certain financial benefits; the Trust’s ongoing monitoring of capital allocation, pursuit of refinancing opportunities to mitigate interest rate risks, and tender significant portions of development costs prior to construction commencement to contain inflationary risk; the Trust’s ability to execute on transactions and successfully navigate markets; expected growth of the Trust’s recurring income segment; our development and redevelopment pipeline; expectations regarding rezoning applications and related square footage and finalization dates, including in respect of the Berkeley land assembly; the Trust’s ability to achieve its impact and sustainability goals, and implementing other sustainability initiatives throughout its projects; and the 2,826 residential units and 153,000 sf of commercial and retail (at 100%) with an estimated value upon completion of $508.5 million which are expected to be completed and contribute to recurring income over the next three years.

Forward-looking information is based on a number of assumptions and is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Trust’s control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those that are disclosed in or implied by such forward-looking information. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: adverse changes in general economic and market conditions; the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19 and variants thereof) pandemic on the Trust; risks associated with unexpected or ongoing geopolitical events, including disputes between nations, terrorism or other acts of violence, and international sanctions; inflation; the disruption of free movement of goods and services across jurisdictions; the risk of adverse global market, economic and political conditions and health crises; risks inherent in the real estate industry; risks relating to investment in development projects; impact investing strategy risk; risks relating to geographic concentration; risks inherent in investments in real estate, mortgages and other loans and development and investment holdings; credit risk and counterparty risk; competition risks; environmental and climate change risks; risks relating to access to capital; interest rate risk; the risk of changes in governmental laws and regulations; tax risks; foreign exchange risk; acquisitions risk; and leasing risks. Our objectives and forward-looking statements are based on certain assumptions with respect to each of our markets, including that the general economy remains stable; the gradual recovery and growth of the general economy continues over 2022; that no unforeseen changes in the legislative and operating framework for our business will occur; that there will be no material change to environmental regulations that may adversely impact our business; that we will meet our future objectives, priorities and growth targets; that we receive the licenses, permits or approvals necessary in connection with our projects; that we will have access to adequate capital to fund our future projects, plans and any potential acquisitions; that we are able to identify high quality investment opportunities and find suitable partners with which to enter into joint ventures or partnerships; that we do not incur any material environmental liabilities; interest rates remain stable; inflation remains relatively low; there will not be a material change in foreign exchange rates; that the impact of the current economic climate and global financial conditions on our operations will remain consistent with our current expectations; our expectations regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and government measures to contain it; our expectation regarding ongoing remote working arrangements; and competition for and availability of acquisitions remains consistent with the current climate.

All forward-looking information in this press release speaks as of October 31, 2022. The Trust does not undertake to update any such forward-looking information whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. Additional information about these assumptions and risks and uncertainties is disclosed in the Trust’s filings with securities regulators filed on the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (www.sedar.com), including its latest annual information form and MD&A. These filings are also available at the Trust’s website at www.dreamimpacttrust.ca.

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Scarred by War, Ukraine’s Children Face Years of Trauma

KYIV, Ukraine — Using his small blue crutches, Daniil Avdieienko, 7, gestured toward two deep brown stains on the cement floor of the entryway to his apartment building.

The patch on the right, just inside the door, was his blood, he explained. Then he pointed at the other blood stain: “This is from my mother.’‘

Daniil and his parents were running to a basement shelter in central Chernihiv, a northern city where fighting raged in the early days of the war, when shrapnel struck him in the back. Eventually, he had to have 60 centimeters, or nearly two feet, of his intestines removed. Seven months later he is still recovering from his wounds, and will likely need several more surgeries, as will his parents, both of whom suffered serious leg injuries.

But while his physical injuries are on the mend, he is still grappling with the psychological trauma of the attack.

“Superhero School” to keep their education going and take part in weekly activities, like concerts and painting classes, intended to lift their spirits.

Many of the youngsters suffer from severe anxiety or PTSD, she said.

“If it’s a war trauma, it is very difficult to provide the sense of safety for that child,” she said. “Because the child understands that the war is not over.”

Despite their ordeal, many children push ahead with resolve, and even alacrity. Maryna Ponomariova, who is 6, has been working closely with psychologists, physical therapists and teachers since she came to Ohmadyt hospital this summer, weeks after a devastating May 2 attack on her home in the southern Kherson region.

when a missile plunged into the crowd standing outside.

Yuliia and her aunt were inside the station. A stranger shielded Kateryna with his body, likely saving her life even as he lost his own. The family found their mother’s body in the city morgue the next day.

Maryna Lialko had raised the girls alone after their father left the family, their grandmother, Nina Lialko, said.

“She was devoted to these two girls,” she said.

Kateryna was discharged this fall from Ohmadyt hospital, where she received psychiatric and physical therapy, and the girls are now in Kyiv living with their grandmother and aunt.

The aunt, Olha Lialko, said she has seen a shift in their personalities. Kateryna is increasingly turning inward; she speaks very little and struggles to maintain eye contact. Yuliia still can’t fully comprehend the loss.

“Katya is very closed; she keeps it all to herself,” Olha Lialko said. “Yuliia is missing mom a lot. She needs attention, she likes to cuddle.”

The family is trying to help the girls process their loss. And occasionally they see glimpses of the girls they knew before the war.

They dye their hair wild colors and play with makeup. They fight as only sisters can, and cling closely to each other for company.

But no one knows what will come next for them. Their life is on hold. They attend school online and have few friends in the new city. The family is unable to return home to Donetsk but unwilling to commit to staying in Kyiv.

“It will be very difficult for them to live without her,” their grandmother said. “This life has no sense at all.”

Oleksandra Mykolyshyn contributed reporting

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Elon Musk Takes Twitter, and Tech Deals, to Another Level

Forget about the endless drama, the bots, the abrupt reversals, the spectacle, the alleged risk to the Republic and all we hold dear. Here is the most important thing about Elon Musk’s buying Twitter: The moguls have been unleashed.

In the old days, when a tech tycoon wanted to buy something big, he needed a company to do it. Steve Case used AOL to buy Time Warner. Jeff Bezos bought Whole Foods for Amazon. Mark Zuckerberg used Facebook to buy Instagram and WhatsApp and Oculus and on and on. These were corporate deals done for the bottom line, even if they might never have happened without a famous and forceful proprietor.

Mr. Musk’s $44 billion takeover of Twitter, which finally became a reality on Thursday, six months after he agreed to the deal, is different. It is an individual buying something for himself that 240 million people around the world use regularly. While he has other investors, Mr. Musk will have absolute control over the fate of the short-message social media platform.

It’s a difficult deal to evaluate even in an industry built on deals, because this one is so unusual. It came about whimsically, impulsively. But, even by the standards of Silicon Valley, where billions are casually offered for fledging operations — and even by the wallet of Mr. Musk, on most days the richest man in the world — $44 billion is quite a chunk of change.

the midterm elections’ most prominent campaign contributor, pumping tens of millions of dollars into right-wing congressional candidates. Two of his former employees are the Republican nominees for senator in Ohio and Arizona.

Richard Walker, a professor emeritus of economic geography at the University of California, Berkeley and a historian of Silicon Valley, sees a shift in the locus of power.

“In this new Gilded Age, we’re being battered by billionaires rather than the corporations that were the face of the 20th century,” he said. “And the tech titans are leading the way.”

bought The Washington Post for $250 million. Marc Benioff of Salesforce owns Time magazine. Pierre Omidyar of eBay developed a homegrown media empire.

Deals have been a feature of Silicon Valley as long as there has been a Silicon Valley. Often they fail, especially when the acquisition was made for technology that either quickly grew outdated or never really worked at all. At least one venerable company, Hewlett-Packard, followed that strategy and has practically faded away.

$70 billion-plus acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which is pending, has garnered a fraction of the attention despite being No. 2.

said in April after sealing the deal. “I don’t care about the economics at all.”

He cared a little more when the subsequent plunge in the stock market meant that he was overpaying by a significant amount. Analysts estimated that Twitter was worth not $44 billion but $30 billion, or maybe even less. For a few months, Mr. Musk tried to get out of the deal.

This had the paradoxical effect of bringing the transaction down to earth for spectators. Who among us has not failed to do due diligence on a new venture — a job, a house, even a relationship — and then realized that it was going to cost so much more than we had thought? Mr. Musk’s buying Twitter, and then his refusal to buy Twitter, and then his being forced to buy Twitter after all — and everything playing out on Twitter — was weirdly relatable.

Inescapable, too. The apex, or perhaps the nadir, came this month when Mr. Musk introduced a perfume called Burnt Hair, described on its website as “the Essence of Repugnant Desire.”

“Please buy my perfume, so I can buy Twitter,” Mr. Musk tweeted on Oct. 12, garnering nearly 600,000 likes. This worked, apparently; the perfume is now marked “sold out” on its site. Did 30,000 people really pay $100 each for a bottle? Will this perfume actually be produced and sold? (It’s not supposed to be released until next year.) It’s hard to tell where the joke stops, which is perhaps the point.

Evan Spiegel.

“What was unique about Twitter was that no one actually controlled it,” said Richard Greenfield, a media analyst at LightShed Partners. “And now one person will own it in its entirety.”

He is relatively hopeful, however, that Mr. Musk will improve the site, somehow. That, in turn, will have its own consequences.

“If it turns into a massive home run,” Mr. Greenfield said, “you’ll see other billionaires try to do the same thing.”

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US Economy Grew at 2.6% Annual Rate in Q3, GDP Report Shows

The U.S. economy grew slowly over the summer, adding to fears of a looming recession — but also keeping alive the hope that one might be avoided.

Gross domestic product, adjusted for inflation, returned to growth in the third quarter after two consecutive quarterly contractions, according to government data released Thursday. But consumer spending slowed as inflation ate away at households’ buying power, and the sharp rise in interest rates led to the steepest contraction in the housing sector since the first months of the pandemic.

The report underscored the delicate balance facing the Federal Reserve as it tries to rein in the fastest inflation in four decades. Policymakers have aggressively raised interest rates in recent months — and are expected to do so again at their meeting next week — in an effort to cool off red-hot demand, which they believe has contributed to the rapid increase in prices. But they are trying to do so without snuffing out the recovery entirely.

The third-quarter data — G.D.P. rose 0.6 percent, the Commerce Department said, a 2.6 percent annual rate of growth — suggested that the path to such a “soft landing” remained open, but narrow.

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.

President Biden cheered the report in a statement Thursday morning. “For months, doomsayers have been arguing that the U.S. economy is in a recession, and congressional Republicans have been rooting for a downturn,” he said. “But today we got further evidence that our economic recovery is continuing to power forward.”

By one common definition, the U.S. economy entered a recession when it experienced two straight quarters of shrinking G.D.P. at the start of the year. Officially, however, recessions are determined by a group of researchers at the National Bureau of Economic Research, who look at a broader array of indicators, including employment, income and spending.

Most analysts don’t believe the economy meets that more formal definition, and the third-quarter numbers — which slightly exceeded forecasters’ expectations — provided further evidence that a recession had not yet begun.

But the overall G.D.P. figures were skewed by the international trade component, which often exhibits big swings from one period to the next. Economists tend to focus on less volatile components, which have showed the recovery steadily losing momentum as the year has progressed. One closely watched measure suggested that private-sector demand stalled out almost completely in the third quarter.

Mortgage rates passed 7 percent on Thursday, their highest level since 2002.

“Housing is just the single largest trigger to additional spending, and it’s not there anymore; it’s going in reverse,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at the accounting firm KPMG. “This has been a stunning turnaround in housing, and when things start to go really quickly, you start to wonder, what are the knock-on effects, what are the spillover effects?”

The third quarter was in some sense a mirror image of the first quarter, when G.D.P. shrank but consumer spending was strong. In both cases, the swings were driven by international trade. Imports, which don’t count toward domestic production figures, soared early this year as the strong economic recovery led Americans to buy more goods from overseas. Exports slumped as the rest of the world recovered more slowly from the pandemic.

Both trends have begun to reverse as American consumers have shifted more of their spending toward services and away from imported goods, and as foreign demand for American-made goods has recovered. Supply-chain disruptions have added to the volatility, leading to big swings in the data from quarter to quarter.

Few economists expect the strong trade figures from the third quarter to continue, especially because the strong dollar will make American goods less attractive overseas.

Jim Tankersley contributed reporting.

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Saudi Arabia ‘maturer guys’ in spat with U.S., energy minister says

  • OPEC+ oil output cut led to U.S., Saudi spat
  • Saudi Arabia and U.S. “solid allies” – minister
  • Big Wall St turnout at flagship Saudi investment summit

RIYADH, Oct 25 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia decided to be the “maturer guys” in a spat with the United States over oil supplies, the kingdom’s energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Tuesday.

The decision by the OPEC+ oil producer group led by Saudi Arabia this month to cut oil output targets unleashed a war of words between the White House and Riyadh ahead of the kingdom’s Future Investment Initiative (FII) forum, which drew top U.S. business executives.

The two traditional allies’ relationship had already been strained by the Joe Biden administration’s stance on the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the Yemen war, as well as Riyadh’s growing ties with China and Russia.

When asked at the FII forum how the energy relationship with the United States could be put back on track after the cuts and with the Dec. 5 deadline for the expected price-cap on Russian oil, the Saudi energy minister said: “I think we as Saudi Arabia decided to be the maturer guys and let the dice fall”.

“We keep hearing you ‘are with us or against us’, is there any room for ‘we are with the people of Saudi Arabia’?”

Saudi Investment Minister Khalid al-Falih said earlier that Riyadh and Washington will get over their “unwarranted” spat, highlighting long-standing corporate and institutional ties.

“If you look at the relationship with the people side, the corporate side, the education system, you look at our institutions working together we are very close and we will get over this recent spat that I think was unwarranted,” he said.

While noting that Saudi Arabia and the United States were “solid allies” in the long term, he highlighted the kingdom was “very strong” with Asian partners including China, which is the biggest importer of Saudi hydrocarbons.

The OPEC+ cut has raised concerns in Washington about the possibility of higher gasoline prices ahead of the November U.S. midterm elections, with the Democrats trying to retain their control of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Biden pledged that “there will be consequences” for U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia after the OPEC+ move.

Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud, the kingdom’s ambassador to Washington, said in a CNN interview that Saudi Arabia was not siding with Russia and engages with “everybody across the board”.

“And by the way, it’s okay to disagree. We’ve disagreed in the past, and we’ve agreed in the past, but the important thing is recognizing the value of this relationship,” she said.

She added that “a lot of people talk about reforming or reviewing the relationship” and said that was “a positive thing” as Saudi Arabia “is not the kingdom it was five years ago.”

FULL ATTENDENCE AT FII

Like previous years, the FII three-day forum that opened on Tuesday saw a big turnout from Wall Street, as well as other industries with strategic interests in Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter.

JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Jamie Dimon, speaking at the gathering, voiced confidence that Saudi Arabia and the United States would safeguard their 75-year-old alliance.

“I can’t imagine any allies agreeing on everything and not having problems – they’ll work it through,” Dimon said. “I’m comfortable that folks on both sides are working through and that these countries will remain allies going forward, and hopefully help the world develop and grow properly.”

The FII is a showcase for the Saudi crown prince’s Vision 2030 development plan to wean the economy off oil by creating new industries that also generate jobs for millions of Saudis, and to lure foreign capital and talent.

No Biden administration officials were visible at the forum on Tuesday. Jared Kushner, a former senior aide to then-President Donald Trump who enjoyed good ties with Prince Mohammed, was featured as a front-row speaker.

The Saudi government invested $2 billion with a firm incorporated by Kushner after Trump left office.

FII organisers said this year’s edition attracted 7,000 delegates compared with 4,000 last year.

After its inaugural launch in 2017, the forum was marred by a Western boycott over Khashoggi’s killing by Saudi agents. It recovered the next year, attracting leaders and businesses with strategic interests in Saudi Arabia, after which the pandemic hit the world.

Reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi, Hadeel Al Sayegh and Rachna Uppal in Riyadh and Nadine Awadalla, Maha El Dahan and Yousef Saba in Dubai; Writing by Ghaida Ghantous and Michael Geory; Editing by Louise Heavens, Mark Potter, Vinay Dwivedi, William Maclean

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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U.K. Live Updates: With Cabinet Picks, Sunak Opts for Stability

In his first address as Britain’s prime minister, Rishi Sunak vowed on Tuesday to lead a government of “integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level.” Here is his speech in full:

I have just been to Buckingham Palace and accepted His Majesty the King’s invitation to form a government in his name. It is only right to explain why I am standing here as your new prime minister.

Right now our country is facing a profound economic crisis. The aftermath of Covid still lingers. Putin’s war in Ukraine has destabilized energy markets and supply chains the world over.

I want to pay tribute to my predecessor, Liz Truss. She was not wrong to want to improve growth in this country — it is a noble aim — and I admired her restlessness to create change.

But some mistakes were made — not borne of ill will or bad intentions, quite the opposite, in fact — but mistakes nonetheless. And I have been elected as leader of my party, and your prime minister, in part, to fix them. And that work begins immediately.

I will place economic stability and confidence at the heart of this government’s agenda. This will mean difficult decisions to come. But you saw me during Covid, doing everything I could, to protect people and businesses, with schemes like furlough.

There are always limits, more so now than ever, but I promise you this: I will bring that same compassion to the challenges we face today.

The government I lead will not leave the next generation, your children and grandchildren, with a debt to settle that we were too weak to pay ourselves.

I will unite our country, not with words, but with action.

I will work day in and day out to deliver for you.

This government will have integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level.

Trust is earned. And I will earn yours.

I will always be grateful to Boris Johnson for his incredible achievements as prime minister, and I treasure his warmth and generosity of spirit.

And I know he would agree that the mandate my party earned in 2019 is not the sole property of any one individual, it is a mandate that belongs to and unites all of us.

And the heart of that mandate is our manifesto. I will deliver on its promise: a stronger N.H.S., better schools, safer streets, control of our borders, protecting our environment, supporting our armed forces, leveling up and building an economy that embraces the opportunities of Brexit, where businesses invest, innovate and create jobs.

I understand how difficult this moment is.

After the billions of pounds it cost us to combat Covid, after all the dislocation that caused in the midst of a terrible war that must be seen successfully to its conclusions, I fully appreciate how hard things are. And I understand, too, that I have work to do to restore trust after all that has happened.

All I can say is that I am not daunted. I know the high office I have accepted, and I hope to live up to its demands.

But when the opportunity to serve comes along, you cannot question the moment, only your willingness.

So I stand here before you ready to lead our country into the future, to put your needs above politics, to reach out and build a government that represents the very best traditions of my party.

Together we can achieve incredible things.

We will create a future worthy of the sacrifices so many have made and fill tomorrow, and everyday thereafter with hope.

Thank you.

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Saudi Arabia ‘maturer guys’ in spat with U.S., says energy minister

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  • OPEC+ oil output cut led to U.S., Saudi spat
  • Saudi Arabia and U.S. “solid allies” – minister
  • Big Wall St turnout at flagship Saudi investment summit

RIYADH, Oct 25 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia decided to be the “maturer guys” in a spat with the United States over oil supplies, the kingdom’s energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Tuesday.

The decision by the OPEC+ oil producer group led by Saudi Arabia this month to cut oil output targets unleashed a war of words between the White House and Riyadh ahead of the kingdom’s Future Investment Initiative (FII) forum, which drew top U.S. business executives.

The two traditional allies’ relationship had already been strained by the Joe Biden administration’s stance on the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the Yemen war, as well as Riyadh’s growing ties with China and Russia.

When asked at the FII forum how the energy relationship with the United States could be put back on track after the cuts and with the Dec. 5 deadline for the expected price-cap on Russian oil, the Saudi energy minister said: “I think we as Saudi Arabia decided to be the maturer guys and let the dice fall”.

“We keep hearing you ‘are with us or against us’, is there any room for ‘we are with the people of Saudi Arabia’?”

Saudi Investment Minister Khalid al-Falih said earlier that Riyadh and Washington will get over their “unwarranted” spat, highlighting long-standing corporate and institutional ties.

“If you look at the relationship with the people side, the corporate side, the education system, you look at our institutions working together we are very close and we will get over this recent spat that I think was unwarranted,” he said.

While noting that Saudi Arabia and the United States were “solid allies” in the long term, he highlighted the kingdom was “very strong” with Asian partners including China, which is the biggest importer of Saudi hydrocarbons.

The OPEC+ cut has raised concerns in Washington about the possibility of higher gasoline prices ahead of the November U.S. midterm elections, with the Democrats trying to retain their control of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Biden pledged that “there will be consequences” for U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia after the OPEC+ move.

Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud, the kingdom’s ambassador to Washington, said in a CNN interview that Saudi Arabia was not siding with Russia and engages with “everybody across the board”.

“And by the way, it’s okay to disagree. We’ve disagreed in the past, and we’ve agreed in the past, but the important thing is recognizing the value of this relationship,” she said.

She added that “a lot of people talk about reforming or reviewing the relationship” and said that was “a positive thing” as Saudi Arabia “is not the kingdom it was five years ago.”

FULL ATTENDENCE AT FII

Like previous years, the FII three-day forum that opened on Tuesday saw a big turnout from Wall Street, as well as other industries with strategic interests in Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter.

JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Jamie Dimon, speaking at the gathering, voiced confidence that Saudi Arabia and the United States would safeguard their 75-year-old alliance.

“I can’t imagine any allies agreeing on everything and not having problems – they’ll work it through,” Dimon said. “I’m comfortable that folks on both sides are working through and that these countries will remain allies going forward, and hopefully help the world develop and grow properly.”

The FII is a showcase for the Saudi crown prince’s Vision 2030 development plan to wean the economy off oil by creating new industries that also generate jobs for millions of Saudis, and to lure foreign capital and talent.

No Biden administration officials were visible at the forum on Tuesday. Jared Kushner, a former senior aide to then-President Donald Trump who enjoyed good ties with Prince Mohammed, was featured as a front-row speaker.

The Saudi government invested $2 billion with a firm incorporated by Kushner after Trump left office.

FII organisers said this year’s edition attracted 7,000 delegates compared with 4,000 last year.

After its inaugural launch in 2017, the forum was marred by a Western boycott over Khashoggi’s killing by Saudi agents. It recovered the next year, attracting leaders and businesses with strategic interests in Saudi Arabia, after which the pandemic hit the world.

Reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi, Hadeel Al Sayegh and Rachna Uppal in Riyadh and Nadine Awadalla, Maha El Dahan and Yousef Saba in Dubai; Writing by Ghaida Ghantous and Michael Geory; Editing by Louise Heavens, Mark Potter, Vinay Dwivedi, William Maclean

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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New PM Rishi Sunak pledges to lead Britain out of economic crisis

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  • Sunak meets King Charles on Tuesday morning
  • Vows to rebuild trust in the country
  • Expected to start forming a cabinet
  • Sunak faces huge challenge to rebuild stability

LONDON, Oct 25 (Reuters) – Rishi Sunak became Britain’s third prime minister in two months on Tuesday and pledged to lead the country out of a profound economic crisis and rebuild trust in politics.

Sunak quickly reappointed Jeremy Hunt as his finance minister in a move designed to calm markets that had balked at his predecessor’s debt-fuelled economic plans.

The former hedge fund boss said he would unite the country and was expected to name a cabinet drawn from all wings of the party to end infighting and abrupt policy changes that have horrified investors and alarmed international allies.

Speaking outside his official Downing Street residence, Sunak praised the ambition of his predecessor Liz Truss to reignite economic growth but acknowledged mistakes had been made.

“I have been elected as leader of my party and your prime minister, in part to fix them,” said Sunak, who broke with the tradition of standing beside his family and cheering political supporters.

“I understand, too, that I have work to do to restore trust, after all that has happened. All I can say is that I am not daunted. I know the high office I have accepted and I hope to live up to its demands.”

Sunak said difficult decisions lay ahead as he looks to cut public spending. Hunt, who Truss appointed to calm markets roiled by her dash for growth, has been preparing a new budget alongside borrowing and growth forecasts due out on Monday, and repeated his warning on Tuesday that “it is going to be tough”.

The new prime minister also restored Dominic Raab to the post of deputy prime minister, a role he lost in Truss’s 44 days in office, but reappointed James Cleverly as foreign minister and Ben Wallace at defence.

Penny Mordaunt, who ended her bid to win a leadership contest against Sunak on Monday, also retained her position as leader of the House of Commons, a role that organises the government’s business in the lower house of parliament.

Sources had said she wanted to become foreign minister.

With his new appointments, Sunak was seen to be drawing ministers from across the Conservative Party while leaving others in post – a move that should ease concerns that Sunak might appoint loyalists rather than try to unify the party.

TOUGH DECISIONS

Sunak, one of the richest men in parliament, is expected to slash spending to plug an estimated 40 billion pound ($45 billion) hole in the public finances created by an economic slowdown, higher borrowing costs and an energy support scheme.

He will now need to review all spending, including on politically sensitive areas such as health, education, defence, welfare and pensions. But with his party’s popularity in freefall, he will face growing calls for an election if he ditches too many of the promises that the Conservatives win election in 2019.

Economists and investors have welcomed Sunak’s appointment – Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said the adults had taken charge again – but they warn he has few options to fix the country’s finances when millions are battling a cost of living crunch.

Sunak, who ran the Treasury during the COVID-19 pandemic, promised to put economic stability and confidence at the heart of the agenda. “This will mean difficult decisions to come,” he said, shortly after he accepted King Charles’s request to form a government.

Sunak also vowed to put the public’s need above politics, in recognition of the growing anger at Britain’s political class and the ideological battles that have raged ever since the historic 2016 vote to leave the European Union.

Workers heading towards London’s financial district said Sunak, at 42 Britain’s youngest prime minister for more than 200 years and its first leader of colour, appeared to be the best of a bad bunch.

“I think he was competent, and that’s really what we should hope for at the moment,” said management consultant, James Eastbook, 43.

With two prime ministers appointed in two months without a popular vote, some called for a general election now but others hoped Sunak would stay until the next scheduled election, due by January 2025.

POLITICAL MACHINATIONS

Sunak, a Goldman Sachs analyst who only entered parliament in 2015, faces a challenge ending the factional infighting that has brought his party low. Many Conservatives remain angry with him for quitting as finance minister in July and triggering a wider rebellion that ended Boris Johnson’s premiership.

Others question how a multi millionaire can lead the country when millions of people are struggling with surging food and energy bills.

“I think this decision sinks us as a party for the next election,” one Conservative lawmaker told Reuters.

Historian and political biographer Anthony Seldon said Sunak would also be constrained by the mistakes of his immediate predecessor.

“There is no leeway on him being anything other than extraordinarily conservative and cautious,” he told Reuters.

Many politicians and officials abroad, having watched as a country once seen as a pillar of economic and political stability descended into brutal infighting, welcomed Sunak’s appointment.

Sunak, a Hindu, also becomes Britain’s first prime minister of Indian origin.

U.S. President Joe Biden described it as a “groundbreaking milestone”, while leaders from India and elsewhere welcomed the news. Sunak’s billionaire father-in-law, N.R. Narayana Murthy, said he would serve the United Kingdom well.

“We are proud of him and we wish him success,” the founder of software giant Infosys said in a statement.

($1 = 0.8864 pounds)

Writing by by Kate Holton and Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Jon Boyle

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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World is in its ‘first truly global energy crisis’ – IEA’s Birol

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SINGAPORE, Oct 25 (Reuters) – Tightening markets for liquefied natural gas (LNG) worldwide and major oil producers cutting supply have put the world in the middle of “the first truly global energy crisis”, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday.

Rising imports of LNG to Europe amid the Ukraine crisis and a potential rebound in Chinese appetite for the fuel will tighten the market as only 20 billion cubic meters of new LNG capacity will come to market next year, IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said during the Singapore International Energy Week.

At the same time the recent decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, known as OPEC+, to cut 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of output is a “risky” decision as the IEA sees global oil demand growth of close to 2 million bpd this year, Birol said.

“(It is) especially risky as several economies around the world are on the brink of a recession, if that we are talking about the global recession…I found this decision really unfortunate,” he said.

Soaring global prices across a number of energy sources, including oil, natural gas and coal, are hammering consumers at the same time they are already dealing with rising food and services inflation. The high prices and possibility of rationing are potentially hazardous to European consumers as they prepare to enter the Northern Hemisphere winter.

Europe may make it through this winter, though somewhat battered, if the weather remains mild, Birol said.

“Unless we will have an extremely cold and long winter, unless there will be any surprises in terms of what we have seen, for example Nordstream pipeline explosion, Europe should go through this winter with some economic and social bruises,” he added.

For oil, consumption is expected to grow by 1.7 million bpd in 2023 so the world will still need Russian oil to meet demand, Birol said.

G7 nations have proposed a mechanism that would allow emerging nations to buy Russian oil but at lower prices to cap Moscow’s revenues in the wake of the Ukraine war.

Birol said the scheme still has many details to iron out and will require the buy-in of major oil importing nations.

A U.S. Treasury official told Reuters last week that it is not unreasonable to believe that up to 80% to 90% of Russian oil will continue to flow outside the price cap mechanism if Moscow seeks to flout it.

“I think this is good because the world still needs Russian oil to flow into the market for now. An 80%-90% is good and encouraging level in order to meet the demand,” Birol said.

While there is still a huge volume of strategic oil reserves that can be tapped during a supply disruption, another release is not currently on the agenda, he added.

ENERGY SECURITY DRIVES RENEWABLES GROWTH

The energy crisis could be a turning point for accelerating clean sources and for forming a sustainable and secured energy system, Birol said.

“Energy security is the number one driver (of the energy transition),” said Birol, as countries see energy technologies and renewables as a solution.

The IEA has revised up the forecast of renewable power capacity growth in 2022 to a 20% year-on-year increase from 8% previously, with close to 400 gigawatts of renewable capacity being added this year.

Many countries in Europe and elsewhere are accelerating the installation of renewable capacity by cutting the permitting and licensing processes to replace the Russian gas, Birol said.

Reporting by Florence Tan, Muyu Xu and Emily Chow; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Christian Schmollinger

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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