Business Briefs – May 30, 2019

Why the U.S. Economy May Have Already Peaked for the Year

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy grew at a solid 3.1% annual rate in the January-March quarter — a pace that will likely prove to be the high-water mark for the year before growth weakens in the coming months. That’s the assessment widely shared by most economists in light of the rising threats facing the U.S. economy, from a raging trade war to cautious spending by consumers and businesses to a global slowdown.

Soggy Fields Leave Midwestern Farmers With Few Good Answers

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Midwestern farmers are enduring a spring like no other. Most of the nation’s corn and soybeans are grown in the Midwest, and farmers in the region have for years struggled with low prices that got even worse due to a trade dispute between the U.S. and China. Amid those problems, farmers haven’t been able to plant because of seemingly endless storms. President Donald Trump promised $16 billion in aid but that led to confusion because details about the payments won’t be released until later.

The Bond Market Is Getting Another Whiff of a Recession

NEW YORK (AP) – Bonds are supposed to be the boring corner of the finance world, but even high-flying stock investors stop and pay attention when they fall into a particular, concerning pattern. It’s called an “inverted yield curve,” and it happens when investors are willing to accept lower yields for long-term U.S. government bonds than for short-term debt. It’s been a relatively reliable predictor for recessions, and it’s happening again.

Uber’s Q1 Losses Reach $1b Despite Revenue Growth

NEW YORK (AP) – Uber is continuing to bleed money even as it posts dramatic revenue growth. In its first financial release since its lackluster IPO, Uber reported Thursday that revenue rose to $3.1 billion in the first quarter of 2019, up 20% from the same time last year. But the ride-hailing giant posted $1 billion in losses as it fights to maintain market share.

Waymo Bringing Self-Driving Trucks to Phoenix Area Freeways

PHOENIX (AP) – Google’s self-driving vehicle division says it’s bringing autonomous trucks to the Phoenix area. Waymo announced Wednesday that its fully self-driving tractor-trailers will start driving on freeways this week and will expand to more routes over time. Waymo’s self-driving passenger vehicles are commonly seen in eastern Phoenix and its suburbs, where the company conducts extensive testing and operates a taxi service.

Energy Secretary Says U.S. Can Make Oil, Gas, Coal Cleaner

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Energy Secretary Rick Perry says the Trump administration is committed to making fossil fuels cleaner rather than imposing “draconian” regulations on oil, gas and coal. Perry made his remarks Thursday during a speech at an energy conference in Salt Lake City. The former Texas governor previously said the Trump administration wants to spend a half-billion dollars next year on fossil fuel research and development as demand plummets for coal and surges for natural gas.

U.S.-China Trade Dispute Weighing on Retail Sector

NEW YORK (AP) – Pressure from the trade dispute between the U.S. and China continues to weigh on the retail sector.

Retailers have seen their shares seesaw this week as they express concern over tariffs squeezing their businesses. The latest is PVH Corp., owner of the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands, which said late Wednesday that it was cutting its full-year adjusted earnings forecast partly because of the U.S.-China trade dispute.

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