Company Highlights: IMF Outlook, Rules for Gig Workers

IMF darkens outlook for world economy for 2023 amid war in Ukraine

WASHINGTON — The International Monetary Fund is lowering its outlook for the global economy for 2023, citing a long list of threats that include Russia’s war on Ukraine, chronic inflationary pressures, punitive interest rates and lingering consequences of the global pandemic. The 190-country lending agency predicts the global economy will post growth of just 2.7% next year, down from the 2.9% it estimated in July. The IMF left unchanged its forecast for international growth this year – a modest 3.2%, a sharp deceleration from last year’s 6% expansion.

Labor proposal could shake up rules for gig workers and businesses

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor is releasing a new proposal for how workers should be classified, saying thousands of people have been incorrectly labeled as contractors rather than employees, which could reduce access to benefits and protections they rightly deserve. The department said Tuesday that misclassifying workers as independent contractors denies these workers protection under federal labor standards, promotes wage theft, allows some employers to gain an unfair advantage over companies and harms the economy. Shares of major gig companies such as Uber and Lyft have fallen.

Tourists flock to Japan after COVID restrictions lifted

TOKYO — Eager to admire the colorful foliage, eat sushi and shop, crowds of foreign tourists have started arriving in Japan. From Tuesday, the government lifted border restrictions that had been in place for more than two years to curb the coronavirus pandemic. Airlines have added flights and visa-free travel is back for short-term business visits and tourism. Travelers are expected to provide a much-needed $35 billion boost to the world’s third-largest economy. And given the bargains to be had with the weakening of the yen against the US dollar, the flow of visitors should continue to grow.

Wall Street ends mostly lower after another volatile day

NEW YORK — Stocks ended mostly lower after a setback on Wall Street as trading remained choppy ahead of major inflation and corporate earnings reports. The S&P 500 fell 0.7% after teetering down, up, then down. The Nasdaq fell 1.1% and the Dow barely finished in the green. The S&P 500 marked its fifth consecutive loss as worries grow over the impending recession. The International Monetary Fund, a global lending agency, further stoked those fears by lowering its forecast for global growth next year to 2.7% from the 2.9% it estimated in July.

Bank of England steps up efforts to stabilize financial markets

LONDON — The Bank of England has expanded its emergency effort to stabilize financial markets as the government’s plan to cut taxes poses a “significant risk” to Britain’s fiscal stability. The central bank said on Tuesday it would now buy inflation-linked securities that offer inflation protection as well as conventional government bonds as it seeks to “restore orderly conditions” in the market. The bank says the purchases will total up to 10 billion pounds, or $11 billion, per day split equally between the two types of bonds. The program was expanded after government bond yields jumped again on Monday. Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said the purchases would end on Friday as originally planned.

TikTok is getting big on US e-commerce? Job postings offer clues

NEW YORK — TikTok appears to be deepening its foray into e-commerce. He indicates in job postings that he plans to operate his own warehouses in the United States, the type of packaging and shipping facilities more associated with Amazon or Walmart than the media platform. best known for its addictive short videos. Over the past two weeks, the company has posted several job postings on LinkedIn seeking candidates to help it grow and grow its “Fulfillment by TikTok Shop” with sellers using the app. According to the listings, TikTok plans to provide item storage, delivery and return options for sellers. A company spokesperson declined to comment on TikTok’s US e-commerce plans.

French Prime Minister to requisition workers during refinery strike

PARIS — French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne announced a decision to requisition gas depot workers from ExxonMobil’s French subsidiary, Esso, and threatened to do the same for those from the Total group, amid strikes that have dried up fuel pumps in the country. Drivers queuing to fill their vehicles’ tanks and temporarily closed service stations awaiting deliveries have become an increasingly familiar sight in France in recent days. Borne spoke to the National Assembly on Tuesday. She said around 30% of French service stations were experiencing temporary shortages of at least one or more types of fuel. She called for urgent dialogue between unions and company management as strikers demand wage increases amid rising inflation in the country.

Honda and LG to build $3.5 billion battery factory and hire 2,200 people in Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Honda has announced it will build a $3.5 billion joint venture battery plant in rural southern Ohio and hire 2,200 people to staff it as it begins to transform the State at its North American Electric Vehicle Center. The company also plans to invest $700 million and create 300 jobs at three of its own Ohio factories to prepare them to start manufacturing electric vehicles and components. The battery plant, which will be built jointly with South Korea’s LG Energy Solution, could see a total investment of $4.4 billion. The plant site is off Interstate 71 in Fayette County, about 40 miles southwest of the state capital, Columbus.

The S&P 500 slipped 23.55 points, or 0.7%, to 3,588.84. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 36.31 points, or 0.1%, to 29,239.19. The Nasdaq lost 115.91 points, or 1.1%, to 10,426.19. The Russell 2000 Small Business Index gained 1 point, or 0.1%, to 1,692.92.

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