Business Briefs – November 27, 2017

Powell, in Prepared Remarks, Backs Further Slow Rate Hikes

WASHINGTON (AP) – Jerome Powell says that if confirmed as the next chairman of the Federal Reserve, he expects the Fed to continue raising interest rates gradually to support its twin goals of maximum employment and stable prices.

Under his leadership, Powell says, the Fed would consider ways to ease the regulatory burdens on banks while preserving the key reforms Congress passed to try to prevent another financial crisis like the one that erupted in 2008.

Powell’s comments came in prepared testimony he will deliver Tuesday at the start of his confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee. Powell, a member of the Fed’s board since 2012, is expected to win confirmation to succeed Janet Yellen, whose term as chair expires in February.

California Farmworker Unions Win Battle To Ensure Contracts

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The California Supreme Court handed a victory to organized farm labor Monday in a lawsuit that pitted the union launched by iconic labor leader Cesar Chavez against one of the largest U.S. fruit farms. In a unanimous ruling, the high court in the nation’s leading agricultural state upheld a law that aims to get labor contracts for farmworkers whose unions and employers do not agree on wages and other working conditions.

Tech Firm: Thanksgiving-Black Friday Sales Rose 11.9 Percent

NEW YORK (AP) – Despite seasonal deals all month, shoppers still picked up their spending on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, one technology company says. Spending for Thursday and Friday together increased 11.9 percent compared with the same two-day period last year, says First Data, which analyzed online and in-store payments across different forms of cards from 1.3 million merchants. Retail spending, which excludes grocery stores, restaurants, auto parts merchants and gas stations, rose 9.3 percent.