Little sign of relief expected in September inflation data
WASHINGTON (AP) — Any Americans hoping for relief from months of punishing inflation might not see much in Thursday’s government report on price increases in September. Lower gas prices will probably reduce overall consumer inflation for a third straight month. But measures of “core” inflation, which are closely watched because they exclude volatile food and energy costs, are expected to return to a four-decade peak. Economists have estimated that the government’s consumer price index jumped 8.1% in September from 12 months earlier. That is a distressingly large gain, though below the 9.1% year-over-year peak that was reached in June.
Social Security recipients expected to get big benefit boost
WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions of Social Security recipients will soon learn just how high a boost they’ll get in their benefits next year. The increase will be announced Thursday morning. It’s expected to be the highest in 40 years, fueled by record high inflation and is meant to help cover the higher cost of food, fuel and other goods and services. How well it does that depends on inflation next year. The boost in benefits takes effect in 2023. It will be coupled with a 3% drop in Medicare Part B premiums, meaning retirees will get the full impact of the jump in Social Security benefits.
Social Security payments set for big increase. What to know.
NEW YORK (AP) — Tens of millions of older Americans are about to get what may be the biggest raise of their lifetimes. On Thursday, the U.S. government is set to announce what’s virtually certain to be the largest increase in Social Security benefits in 40 years. The boost is meant to allow beneficiaries to keep up with inflation, and how it’s generated stirs plenty of controversy. Critics say the data used to set the increase doesn’t reflect what older Americans are actually spending. It’s also a one-size-fits-all increase, which means beneficiaries get the same raise regardless of where they live or how big a nest egg they have.
Ukraine’s Kyiv area hit by Iranian-made kamikaze drones
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The president’s office in Ukraine says Russia’s forces used Iranian-made kamikaze drones to bomb the Kyiv and Odesa regions as Moscow punished the country for a fourth day for a truck bomb attack on a landmark Russian bridge. A strike carried out near Makrariv, a small city located 50 kilometers (31 miles) west of Kyiv, destroyed critical infrastructure on Thursday. It wasn’t clear if the explosive-packed drones caused any casualties. Ukrainian officials said 13 people were killed and 37 wounded in the past day in Russian missile strikes that targeted nine regions of Ukraine. Russia resumed widespread attacks following an explosion that damaged a 12-mile bridge that links Russian with the annexed Crimean Peninsula.
Wall Street futures gain ahead of US inflation update
U.S. markets were sharply higher ahead of U.S. inflation data that investors worry will reinforce Federal Reserve plans for more aggressive interest rate hikes. Futures for the Dow and futures for the S&P 500 each rose more than 1%. U.S. indices slipped Wednesday after the government’s producer prices report showed that inflation at the wholesale level eased slightly but was still near a multi-decade high of 8.5%. The more closely-watched consumer price index is due out later Thursday and retail sales data on Friday could give a clearer picture of where prices are hottest and how consumers are reacting.
Delta posts $695 million Q3 profit, expects big holiday rush
Delta Air Lines is posting a $695 million profit for the third quarter, which includes much of the peak summer travel season. Delta said Thursday that it expects its fourth-quarter revenue will be higher than the comparable figure from 2019, before the pandemic. Delta’s bottom line is getting a boost from higher average fares and a lucrative credit-card business. That’s helping the airline overcome higher fuel prices. Delta CEO Ed Bastian says he sees no indication that growing concern over inflation and the economy is discouraging people from buying airline tickets. He predicts a busy holiday travel season.
International climate change bodies win humanity award
LISBON, Portugal (AP) — A prize worth 1 million euros ($970,000) is being awarded to two intergovernmental bodies for their work on climate change. Organizers of the annual Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity announced Thursday that this year’s winners are the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is president of the prize’s jury, said the award would help keep the issue of climate change in the public mind even as Russia’s war in Ukraine and its consequences compete for attention. The prize was created in 2020 by the Lisbon, Portugal-based Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
Spain unveils 3 billion-euro energy aid plan for households
MADRID (AP) — Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has announced 3 billion euros in subsidies to help people weather high gas and electricity prices exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The measures include set gas price rates for collective residential heating systems and more subsidies for electricity and heating for low income how households. Sánchez said the measures to be approved at a Cabinet meeting next Tuesday will benefit 40% of households in Spain. The left-of-center coalition government plans to increase taxes for high income earners in its budget for 2023. It also seeks to set a temporary wealth tax to bring in 3.1 billion euros to help finance initiatives for people with lower incomes.
NATO holds nuclear talks amid war tensions, Putin threats
BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO’s secretive Nuclear Planning Group has met as the alliance presses ahead with plans to hold a nuclear exercise next week despite tensions over Russia’s war on Ukraine. Russia is due to hold its own nuclear maneuvers in coming weeks. It comes amid deep concern about President Vladimir Putin’s insistence that he will use any means necessary to defend Russian territory. NATO is keeping a wary eye on Russia’s movements, but has so far seen no change in its nuclear posture. NATO’s “Steadfast Noon” exercise was planned before Russian invaded Ukraine in February. U.K. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace says NATO’s job “is to make sure that the 30 partners together are ready for what is thrown at us.”
UK leader Truss under pressure to ditch economic plan
LONDON (AP) — A senior member of the British government has rejected suggestions that Prime Minister Liz Truss should step down after lawmakers from her own party criticized Truss for economic policies that have sparked turmoil on financial markets. Truss was blasted during a stormy and private meeting with Conservative Party lawmakers on Wednesday evening. She was chided for pursuing an economic growth strategy that benefits the wealthy at the expense of the working class voters who handed the party a landslide victory in 2019. British media on Thursday have quoted the chairman of the House of Commons Education Committee as saying during the session that Truss has “trashed the last 10 years of workers’ Conservatism.”