Business Briefs – August 3, 2016

UK Desperately Short of Trade Experts to Lead Brexit Talks

LONDON (AP) – Britain is woefully short of one thing it desperately needs in its high-stakes divorce from the European Union: experienced trade negotiators.

Ever since Britain joined the bloc in 1973, the EU has handled its trade talks, so expertise in this area has migrated to Brussels. That means the government has only a few dozen skilled negotiators — against the 1,200 it will need, by one estimate — as it embarks on the complex talks that will determine the U.K.’s relationship with its most important trading partners.

Fly Me to The Moon: Feds OK Private Firm’s Lunar Flight Plan

WASHINGTON (AP) – The federal government for the first time has given permission to a private Florida company to fly a spaceship beyond Earth’s orbit and land on the moon.

The Federal Aviation Administration gave clearance Wednesday to Moon Express to land a washing machine-sized vehicle on the moon that would take hops across the lunar surface using engine firings instead of roving on wheels.

Moon Express plans to launch late next year. The $10 million flight is the first of many planned missions where they hope to make money extracting lunar resources, like platinum, and selling moon dust and rock collectibles.

Fed Official Says 1 Rate Increase Might Be Needed This Year

WASHINGTON (AP) – A Federal Reserve official who has been a leading supporter of a slow approach to raising interest rates said Wednesday that one rate increase “could be appropriate” this year.

Charles Evans, president of the Fed’s Chicago regional bank, didn’t specify whether he thought that rate increase should come at the Fed’s next policy meeting in September or as late as December. He also said he might still prefer no rate increase at all this year until he sees inflation rising above its current low level.

The Fed has sometimes expressed concern that it might start raising rates too late and fall behind in efforts to fight inflation. But Evans, speaking to a group of reporters, said he isn’t sure that concern is relevant today given how low inflation has remained.