Business Highlights: Egg prices; Trump executive sentenced
Soaring egg prices put pressure on consumers and businesses
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Chickens may not be able to fly very far, but the price of eggs is soaring. A lingering bird flu outbreak, combined with soaring feed, fuel and labor costs, has led to U.S. egg prices more than doubling over the past year, and hatched a lot of sticker shock on grocery aisles. The latest government data shows that the national average price for a dozen eggs hit $3.59 in November. That’s putting stress on consumer budgets and the bottom line of food producers and restaurants that rely heavily on eggs as an ingredient. More than 43 million of the 58 million birds slaughtered over the past year to help control bird flu were egg-laying chickens. But even with the price increases, eggs remain relatively affordable compared to other proteins like chicken and beef.
Trump executive Allen Weisselberg gets 5-month jail sentence
Former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg has been sentenced to five months in jail for dodging taxes. A judge imposed the punishment Tuesday at a court hearing in New York City. The longtime executive for Donald Trump’s family company has also paid $2 million in taxes, penalties and interest. Weisselberg was promised the five-month sentence in August when he agreed to plead guilty to 15 tax crimes. He later testified against the company where he has worked since the mid-1980s. The Trump Organization was convicted last month of helping executives, including Weisselberg, dodge taxes.
World Bank: Recession a looming threat for global economy
WASHINGTON (AP) — The World Bank warns the global economy will come “perilously close” to a recession this year, led by weaker growth in the world’s top economies — the United States, Europe and China. The World Bank lends money to poorer countries for development projects. The bank said Tuesday it had slashed its forecast for global growth this year by nearly half, to just 1.7%, from its previous projection of 3%. Though the U.S. might avoid a recession this year, the World Bank predicts global weakness will pose another headwind for America’s businesses and consumers, on top of high prices and more expensive borrowing rates.
Powell: Fed has only narrow role to play on climate change
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve has only a limited role to play in combating climate change, Chair Jerome Powell said Tuesday, a stance that puts him at odds with environmental activists who have pushed central banks worldwide to take steps to restrict lending to energy companies. Powell said that maintaining the Fed’s independence includes steering clear of issues that are more properly overseen by elected officials. “Without explicit congressional legislation, it would be inappropriate for us to use our monetary policy or supervisory tools to promote a greener economy or to achieve other climate-based goals,” Powell said during a panel discussion in Stockholm. “We are not, and will not be, a ‘climate policymaker.’ ”
In-N-Out Burger expanding east of Texas, 1st stop Tennessee
In-N-Out Burger plans to open a corporate office in Tennessee and restaurants in the Nashville area by 2026. The announcement Tuesday marks the company’s first expansion east of Texas. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee joined In-N-Out Burger owner and President Lynsi Snyder for Tuesday’s announcement in Franklin, south of Nashville. Construction of an office building in Franklin is set to begin by late 2024 and conclude by 2026. In-N-Out has 385 locations throughout California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Texas, Oregon and Colorado. Snyder hinted in her remarks that the Tennessee expansion will eventually result in more restaurants opening in other states as well.
TikTok boss meets European officials as scrutiny intensifies
LONDON (AP) — TikTok’s CEO has met with European Union officials about strict new digital regulations in the 27-nation bloc as the Chinese-owned social media app faces growing scrutiny from Western authorities over data privacy, cybersecurity and misinformation. In meetings Tuesday in Brussels, Shou Zi Chew and four officials from the EU’s executive Commission discussed concerns ranging from child safety to investigations into user data flowing to China. TikTok is wildly popular with young people but its Chinese ownership has raised fears that Beijing could use it to scoop up user data or push pro-China narratives or misinformation. TikTok’s director of public policy and government relations tweeted that “online safety & building trust is our number one priority.”
Boeing orders rise to 4-year high but still trail Airbus
Boeing took more than 200 net orders for passenger airplanes in December to complete its best year since 2018, but it failed again to catch up with European manufacturer Airbus in orders and aircraft deliveries. Airbus reported Tuesday that it took orders for 820 planes in all of 2022, and it delivered 661 to airlines and other customers. Those numbers topped Boeing’s 774 orders and 480 deliveries. The battle for supremacy in aircraft manufacturing has been a one-sided affair in recent years, as Boeing was dragged down by two deadly crashes of its best-selling plane, the 737 Max, and with production flaws that halted shipments of a larger plane, the 787. The latest numbers showed Boeing closing the gap, however.
Outdoor Retailer returns to Utah while top brands boycott
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Outdoor Retailer trade show is back in Salt Lake City this week after a four-year run in Denver. But missing at the massive expo are industry giants boycotting the show over Utah’s stance on public land issues. Companies including Patagonia, REI, and The North Face are boycotting the show based on the same concerns that forced the show to leave Utah in 2018 after decades in the state: That Utah doesn’t deserve to reap the economic benefits from the show because of Republican politicians’ opposition to conservation efforts to protect national monuments and public lands.
House GOP kicks off majority with vote to slash IRS funding
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans have began their tenure in the majority by passing a bill that would rescind nearly $71 billion that Congress had provided the IRS. Monday’s action fulfills a campaign promise, though the legislation is unlikely to advance any further. That funding was on top of what Congress provides the IRS annually through the appropriations process. Shortly before the vote, the Congressional Budget Office projected that rescinding the IRS funding would increase deficits over the coming decade by more than $114 billion. Republicans argued that revenue collected through increased enforcement would help finance what they called reckless spending.
The S&P 500 rose 27.16 points, or 0.7%, to 3,919.25. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 186.45 points, or 0.6%, to 33,704.10. The Nasdaq rose 106.98 points, or 1%, to 10,742.63. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 26.74 points, or 1.5%, to 1,822.65.